According to KHOU, his adoptive parents called 911 to report the young child missing.
Troy Khoeler was found in the garage of his family’s house in Spring, Texas, outside of Houston, Texas, around 7:20 a.m., Thursday morning.
Jermaine Thomas, Khoeler’s father, said he could not find the 7-year-old after returning home just before midnight Wednesday. When he noticed the unlocked front door, he said he became suspicious.
“It’s just that I came home; I was fixin’ to walk in the door like right now,” Thomas said. “I don’t have my keys but I put my keys to the door handle and then it just open. Anything else after that, I don’t know.”
The adoptive father of the seven-year-old boy whose body was found in the family’s washing machine, says his front door was unlocked, and his son was missing, when he got home last night. #KHOU11 🎥: @RPhillipsKHOU pic.twitter.com/F1AqyZD6n8
— Matt Dougherty (@MattKHOU) July 29, 2022
During a press conference, Harris County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Robert Minchew couldn’t confirm if there was water in the washing machine or if the lid was closed but did note that Khoeler was clothed.
“We don’t know what happened, but we intend to find out,” HCSO Lt. Minchew said. “Whether he was killed by the washing machine or killed and placed in it, we’re just so far from that, I can’t comment.”
THIS MORNING: I’m back in Spring, following up on yesterday’s heartbreaking story about 7yo Troy Khoeler.
He was found dead inside a washing machine by deputies in his home garage, hours after he was reported missing.
We spoke with his adopted dad on camera last night. @KHOU pic.twitter.com/P888B6KBeG
— Michelle Choi (@MichelleKHOU) July 29, 2022
According to officials, Khoeler’s father was at home during the hours he was missing, and his mother was at a nearby hospital. Khoeler lived alone with his parents, who had no other children, the Daily Mail reports.
Minchew noted that the parents were separated when they were taken to the station to be interviewed.