13-year-old found dead in apartment hours after family couldn't wake him up, sheriff says

Courtney Carpenter Image
Monday, September 25, 2023
Deputies no longer calling 13-year-old boy's death 'suspicious'
Deputies said the child lived at the apartment with six adults and seven other kids. Officials said when EMS arrived, the boy appeared to be foaming at the mouth.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A 13-year-old was found dead in the living room of an apartment in northwest Harris County, authorities said, adding that he may have been dead for several hours.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office responded to an apartment complex at 12700 W FM 1960 near N. Eldridge Parkway at about 2 a.m. on Monday.

When they arrived, they found the teen lying unresponsive the living room area. It wasn't immediately known how he died.

According to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, the teen took some aspirin because he felt warm and had a stomach ache before he went to sleep at about 8 a.m. on Sunday. It appears he regularly slept on the floor, Gonzalez said.

At about 3 p.m. that day, his family called his name, but there was no response. Other children in the apartment also tried to wake him, but he didn't move.

On Monday morning, the family saw drops of blood in different places, and that's when they called 911, the sheriff said.

Six adults and seven children, ranging in age from seven months to 17 years old, were inside the three-bedroom apartment.

Based on the timeline of when the 13-year-old was first unresponsive to when first responders found him, officials believe he'd been dead for at least several hours, but the medical examiner will have to confirm that, Gonzalez told ABC13.

It's unclear why no one called for help sooner.

Officials said they were told that the teen was a heavy sleeper and that he stayed in the fetal position from the time he went to bed Sunday morning to when they saw blood coming from different parts of his body the next morning.

Gonzalez said relatives also told authorities that there had been a death in the family the day before, so other members went to handle the remains, but it also wasn't known if the teen was with them for that at any point.

Authorities also reported that the mother was inside the apartment.

At this point, no one has been arrested or detained.

A post from Gonzalez on X (formerly Twitter) earlier in the morning said the teen, "died under suspicious circumstances." Officials later told ABC13 that they did not find anything nefarious, though it appeared the teen had been foaming from the mouth.

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences will perform an autopsy.

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