HOUSTON (KTRK) --Police officers responded to seven different calls for service at the home of Sheborah Thomas between April 2016 and last week, according to a Houston Police Department spokesman.
The final call was the report that led to the discovery of the children's bodies. Police said Thomas confessed to drowning the children before hiding their bodies under a nearby home. The six previous calls were for child custody issues, disturbances and one was for a threat by phone.
Family connected to at least 7 HPD investigations before suspected child drownings
Child Protective Services also confirms an investigation into the family but declined to give specifics about the case.
Tejal Patel, media representative for CPS, said there's a fear of getting the agency involved because people think the goal is to remove children from their parents' custody.
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"That is not the case. We do not want to do that at all. We want to keep families together," she said.
Patel said children are typically only removed if they're in imminent danger.
"It all depends. It's case by case. A lot of the times it's, 'Is there an immediate threat to the child's life?'"
A source close to the family told Eyewitness News CPS investigators were at the Thomas home for several hours just days before the bodies were found.
Jacqueline Davis Gilmore grew up in the same Third Ward neighborhood. She's now an educator and women's issues specialist. She attended a prayer vigil Tuesday morning outside the Thomas home.
"No one has all the answers (or) any answers at this point," she said. "Sometimes it takes these tragedies for us to come together."