Troy Koehler’s adoptive parents, Jemaine and Tiffany Thomas, have been charged in the boy’s death, nearly four months after his body was discovered.

A 7-year-old Texas boy found dead in his family’s washing machine last summer had been beaten, asphyxiated, and possibly drowned before being dumped in the appliance to “conceal the location of the body,” according to a probable cause affidavit obtained.

Troy Koehler’s adoptive parents, Jemaine and Tiffany Thomas, were furious with their son because he had eaten their food without permission, the affidavit states, citing text messages found by investigators on the Thomas’ cell phones.

“Fuck that, I’m for not doing shit for his birthday,” Tiffany, 35, allegedly wrote to Jemaine, 42, on July 7, three weeks before Troy’s death. “I’m so sick of this boy. Like I’m really tired of him and don’t want him in this house no more.”

Troy only confessed to having eaten Tiffany’s oatmeal crème pies after she “threatened to put him in the stove and turn it on,” another one of the messages said, according to police.

“I’m gonna end up kill [sic] him,” Jemaine allegedly texted Tiffany upon finding out the child had eaten his donut sticks. “You going to come home and he going to be hang [sic] from the fuck [sic] tree outside.”

And just three days before Troy died, the affidavit says Tiffany texted Jemaine, “This boy got life fucked up. Why I come out the restroom from taking my shower and his funky ass in the living room watching TV.”

The affidavit is one of several documents unsealed Wednesday in Harris County District Court, charging Jemaine with capital murder and Tiffany with injury to a child by omission. A statement issued by Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez on Tuesday night about their arrests said only that Troy had “suffered new and previous injuries,” and that his death had been ruled a homicide.

Tiffany Thomas does not have a lawyer listed in court records. Jemaine Thomas’ court-appointed lawyer, Kathryn Wilson, did not immediately respond to an email sent via her firm’s website requesting comment.

Arrest update: this has been an extensive investigation. Jermaine and Tiffany Thomas have been arrested and placed in the Harris County Jail. Jermaine (42) has been charged with Capital Murder and Tiffany (35) with Injury to a Child by Omission. The Harris County Institute of 1/2— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) November 16, 2022

The couple adopted the former foster child in 2019, according to authorities. Since then, Texas Child Protective Services officials had twice initiated investigations into the parents when Troy showed up at school with “suspicious injuries” including “facial bruising” and “blackened eyes,” according to the probable cause affidavit.

At 5:19 a.m. on July 28, Tiffany called 911 to report that Troy had vanished, the affidavit reveals.“During this call, [Tiffany] stated Jemaine Thomas went to bed on the previous night and woke up to find [Troy] missing,” it states.

Tiffany told the 911 operator that she had last seen Troy at around 6:30 the previous evening when she left for work. She said Jemaine had last seen Troy when he got home from work between 7:30 and 8:30 the night before, and that the boy had been sitting in the living room watching TV.

Deputies searched the neighborhood in vain for more than an hour, including launching a drone, according to the affidavit. Others searched the Thomas’ home, without any luck.

At 7:10 a.m., deputies conducted another search of the home. One of the officers was searching the garage and utility room, and just happened to lift the lid of the family’s LG top-loading washing machine, the affidavit states.

There, he saw Troy’s body in the bottom of the washtub. He “yelled out to other deputies and tried to assess if [Troy] was breathing,” the affidavit continues.

“While doing so, Deputy Chavez stated he was pushed out of the way by the [sic] Jemaine Thomas, who reached into the washing machine and pulled the child out of the washer,” it says. “… Jemaine Thomas was instructed to place [Troy] on the floor and CPR was immediately began [sic] by other deputies. Jemaine Thomas and [Tiffany Thomas] were both removed from the residence and detained.”

Police found extensive bruising on Troy’s upper legs, the affidavit states. His arms and legs were “warm to the touch but his torso was cold,” and it says Troy had blood around his nose and a large bump over his right eye. There was a blood stain on the base of the washer’s drum, and Troy’s jeans, which had been pulled down to his knees, smelled like urine, indicating that the machine “had likely not ran [sic] through a wash cycle” before the boy was located, according to the affidavit.

Cops also found blood stains on a door frame and a cardboard box in the kitchen, the affidavit says.

Troy was pronounced dead at 7:22 a.m. An autopsy the next day ruled the boy’s death a homicide, due to “homicidal violence,” the affidavit states. The medical examiner said he found “multiple bruises and patterned scars all over the body,” as well as “facial injuries.” Troy’s body bore signs of “both remote and new blunt force trauma,” “asphyxiation,” and “possible drowning, as evidence [sic] by the sphenoidal sinus containing water fluid and mucosal petechiae.”

In interviews with detectives, the pair told stories that conflicted significantly with the earlier 911 call, according to the affidavit. This time, Jemaine said he got home a little after 11 p.m. and found Troy gone, but eventually changed clothes and went to sleep. He said he got up again at 4 a.m. and looked for Troy again, after which Tiffany got home around 5 a.m.

In a second interview with police, Jemaine admitted only to having had spanked Troy four days earlier “with an open hand,” five times on the buttocks. However, he said he subsequently “stopped the discipline” when he accidentally hit Troy in the back because the boy was “jumping around,” the affidavit states.

Investigators obtained security footage from neighboring homes, which cops say further contradicted Tiffany and Jemaine’s version of events.

Troy, according to the affidavit, “was observed on video running around outside of the residence” between 8:14 p.m. and 8:35 p.m. He was “alone and appeared to be engaged in hide-and-seek type play by himself,” it explains. “[Troy] did not appear, based on his gait and mannerism, to be injured or in distress in any way.”

The surveillance footage shows Jemaine arriving home at 12:46 a.m., the affidavit says.

“Jemaine Thomas was never again observed on video outside of the residence,” it says. “The video included audio and there was never any audible shout, which would be consistent with someone searching for a missing child.”

Tiffany got home shortly after 5 a.m. but wasn’t seen outside the house again until after cops arrived nearly a half-hour later, the affidavit states.

It notes that investigators contacted LG “and learned that this washing machine, equipped with a locking lid, would not operate until and unless the lid was lowered and the START button depressed, which means [Troy] could not have run himself through a was [sic] cycle himself,” seeming to suggest a possible attempt to explain things by one or both of the parents upon the body’s discovery.

“The culmination of this investigation revealed [Troy] was alive and well on the evening of July 27, 2022, when he was last observed on video at 2035 hours,” it concludes. “By 0710 hours on July 28, 2022, [Troy] was deceased, having sustained multiple traumatic injuries and being placed in a washing machine to conceal the location of the body.”

Troy had suffered “chronic abuse and maltreatment,” according to the affidavit.

Jemaine Thomas is being held on $2 million bond, court records show. Tiffany Thomas’ bail has been set at $150,000.

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