Theresa Balboa not in court as $500,000 bond set in 5-year-old Samuel Olson's death

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Theresa Balboa, who is charged in connection with the death of 5-year-old Samuel Olson, was not in a Harris County court Friday as a judge set her bond at $500,000.

Balboa arrived back in the Houston area in a Jasper County Sheriff's Office cruiser as dawn broke Friday morning. ABC13 was among the first in the city to capture the arrival.

WATCH: Father of Theresa Balboa's children speaks out for the first time
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"I would have never have thought something of this magnitude would ever happen," he said.



Balboa is charged with tampering with evidence, in particular a human corpse, and she may face an upgraded count, pending an investigation.

A judge in the county's probable cause court denied Balboa a personal recognizance bond, which would have effectively released her from jail without posting bond.

If Balboa makes the bond, the judge required her to wear an electronic ankle monitor, ordered under house arrest, and banned her from unsupervised contact with a child under 17 years old.

FIRST ON 13: See the moment Theresa Balboa arrived at Harris County Jail on Friday
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Balboa arrived in Harris County the day after disturbing new details revealed the boy may have died weeks ago on May 10.



Balboa was not present as the charge and details of the case were read out loud. The court cited Balboa's holding at the time in the mental health unit of the jail.


So far, Balboa is the only one who has been arrested in the case of Samuel's death, but HPD said they are talking to more people, including Samuel's father, Dalton Olson.

NOTE: Some details of the case may be disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

READ MORE: Horrific new details in death of 5-year-old Houston boy
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The 5-year-old boy may have died as long ago as May 10. The primary suspect's roommate gave police the disturbing details of where the child's body has been.



On Thursday, newly-released court documents revealed that Dalton called police on Thursday, May 27, to report his son missing, just days before the child's 6th birthday. Dalton said Balboa had been babysitting for Samuel since April 30. That has also been confirmed as the last day that Samuel was in school.

Balboa claimed that at about 7:30 a.m. on May 27, Samuel's mother, Sarah Olson, arrived at the home with another man and took the little boy without permission. Sarah, however, provided authorities surveillance video from her home to show she couldn't have taken the child.

WATCH: Reporter Notebook: Covering the death of Samuel Olson
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ABC13 takes you inside the coverage of the heartbreaking case as Mycah Hatfield explains what it's like covering such a horrific story.



While authorities and volunteers with Texas EquuSearch combed a field looking for signs of Samuel on Monday, authorities now believe the little boy had already been dead for weeks.

Balboa's roommate told police that it was about May 10 when Balboa called him to say Samuel was dead. He says he came home to the apartment in the 15600 block of the Gulf Freeway and found Samuel bruised, and unresponsive on the bed.
The male roommate further told police that he and Balboa put the boy's body in the bathtub and left him there for two days.

On May 13, he says he bought duct tape and a plastic box from a Walmart, and that he and Balboa wrapped up the child's body, placed it in the box and took it to a storage unit on Highway 3 in Webster.

During the search for Samuel on Monday, Balboa reportedly called a friend and told him she needed help because she had been in a fight. The man picked her up in Cleveland, Texas, at a Walmart parking lot. They drove to the storage unit in Webster, picked up a storage container with a foul odor and drove to the Best Western in Jasper, according to court documents.

Following a Crime Stoppers tip call, Jasper police entered the hotel room and found the body they believe to be Samuel in a plastic tote box. Houston police showed up to the motel room and said in court documents that they found Balboa in the bathroom. She told them he was in a box.
The detective noted having to pry open the lid that was held on with tie wraps and encountering the smell associated with a decomposing body.

Samuel's body was transferred to Harris County for an autopsy Thursday.

WATCH: Will doctors be able to determine how Sam Olson died?
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As the investigation into the death of Samuel Olson continues, now we wait for the autopsy. ABC13's Mycah Hatfield learned it will likely take some time.



Samuel's mother, Sarah, spoke through her attorney about the charges against Balboa.

"Theresa is in custody, but she also strongly believes that the adults, you know, the child's father, should also be in custody, because she feels 100% that they both have something to do with this," attorney Marco Gonzalez said. "So, she's hoping, you know, praying that he also will be taken into custody. So that justice can be done for Samuel."

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Theresa Balboa is charged with tampering with evidence. According to court records, the body was found wrapped with black plastic bags and secured with duct tape.

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