Texas suspect's neighbor heard ‘loud scratching’ days before boy’s body found

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A neighbor of the woman charged in the disappearance of a 5-year-old Houston boy reportedly heard “loud scratching through the wall” just days before his body was believed to be found in a motel room.

Tiffany Schultz, 25, and her fiancé Andrew moved into the apartment next door to Theresa Balboa with their newborn girl on May 11 — the day after Samuel Olson is believed to have died, The US Sun reported.

The next day, Schultz said she heard strange noises coming from her neighbor’s apartment.

Theresa Raye Balboa, 29, is charged with tampering with evidence in the 180th State District Court. This is a November 2020 booking photo of Balboa.

“The second day we were here, it was probably about 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, we heard loud scratching noises, really, really loud,” she told the outlet.

“It lasted for a good 10 or 15 minutes. I was like, ‘Baby, I’m scared.’ He [Andrew] was like, ‘It’s OK.’ He started banging on the wall to try and make it go away,” Schultz continued.

“I’ve heard loud scratching from animals before and it wasn’t that, I don’t believe they had animals. We didn’t hear any other noises, it was strange.”

Balboa, 29, the girlfriend of Samuel Olson’s father, Dalton Olson, has been charged with tampering with evidence after remains, preliminarily believed to be Samuel, were found Tuesday wrapped in black plastic bags secured with duct tape at a Best Western in Jasper, Texas.

Balboa previously lived with Benjamin Rivera, who told authorities she called him on May 10 and said Samuel was dead — and then begged for assistance in hiding the child’s corpse, according to The Sun.

<strong>Theresa Balboa was arrested Tuesday evening after police say they found what they believe to be Samuel Olson’s remains in her hotel room. </strong>
(Houston Police Department)

Rivera claimed in court documents that he and Balboa put the body in a bathtub in the apartment, where he remained for two days before being transported to a nearby storage unit in a plastic box.

Schultz said she was aware a little boy was missing when they moved in.

“We saw police and four-wheelers, camera people out here, and they all started to come in here [in the community], right in front of our door,” she told The Sun.

“We looked it up and realized it was a young boy missing, then she [Balboa] was arrested. It’s all sad. It makes me really nervous thinking someone like that was living next door, you just never know.”

Meanwhile, Samuel’s grief-stricken grandmother Tonya, 48, Olson’s mother, said the family is “extremely distraught.”

“Nobody should have to imagine this. We’ve been staying off social media, and we don’t even watch the updates, it’s sickening. And then you have to hear the details,” she told The Sun.

Court documents obtained by KTRK indicated that Samuel has been dead since May 10 — weeks before he was reported missing while under the care of Balboa.

The child’s mother, Sarah Olson, has suggested that the father was involved in the disappearance, but he has vehemently denied the allegation, according to the report.

“People are mean, they don’t even know what’s going on — there’s more to this,” Tonya said. “We’re respecting the detectives working on this, we’ve given them anything and everything every time they’ve asked us.”

She added: “Justice will be done.”

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