• The boy's body was found inside a top-load washing machine in the family's garage
  • The parents had reported 7-year-old Troy missing just hours before the discovery
  • Autopsy revealed the child had sustained both old and new injuries before his death

The adoptive parents of a 7-year-old boy, who was found fully clothed and lifeless inside a washing machine, were arrested in Texas after the child's death was ruled a homicide.

Jermaine Thomas, 42, was charged with capital murder, and Tiffany Thomas, 35, was charged with injury to a child by omission months after the boy's death, officials announced Tuesday.

The investigation began after 7-year-old Troy Khoeler was reported missing by the couple in the early hours of July 28. Deputies arrived at the family's home in Spring, Harris County, at around 5:20 a.m.

The parents told responding deputies that the boy had been missing since 4 a.m., according to KPRC2. Jermaine also said at the time that he returned home from work the night before and found that the front door of the house was unlocked.

"It's just that I came home, I was fixin' to walk in the door like right now, I don't have my keys but I put my keys to the door handle and then it just open," he said, as quoted by KHOU 11. "Anything else after that, I don't know."

After a thorough search of the house, Khoeler was found inside a top-load washing machine kept in the garage.

The parents were questioned and later released.

Khoeler's death was ruled a homicide after autopsy results revealed that he sustained new and old injuries before his body was found inside the washing machine.

"Forensic Sciences conducted an autopsy on Troy Koehler (7). The autopsy revealed that Troy suffered new and previous injuries," Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez wrote on Twitter. "Troy's death was ruled a Homicide. May he Rest In Peace."

Gonzalez announced that Jermaine and Tiffany's arrests come after an "extensive investigation" into the boy's death.

The sheriff did not disclose further details when asked about how the boy suffered the injuries. "I don't have all those details," he told ABC13.

Khoeler was a foster child and was adopted by the two accused in 2019, Texas CPS told the outlet. The family has a history with Child Protective Services, officials confirmed but did not disclose further details.

Representational image (Police line)
Representational image (Source: Pixabay / ValynPi14)