Parents of boy found dead arrested


Troy Khoeler, 7, was found dead in a washing machine in his Spring home after his adoptive parents reported him missing earlier that morning.

SPRING, Texas — The adoptive parents of a 7-year-old boy who was found dead in a washing machine in their Spring home have been arrested, according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

Jermaine Thomas, 42, and Tiffany Thomas, 35, were arrested after the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences ruled 7-year-old Troy Khoeler’s death a homicide.

Jermain Thomas has been charged with capital murder and Tiffany Thomas has been charged with injury to a child by omission, according to the sheriff.

Gonzalez said an autopsy revealed that Khoeler suffered new and old injuries before his body was found in the washing machine.

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

Forensic Sciences conducted an autopsy on Troy Koehler (7). The autopsy revealed that Troy suffered new and previous injuries. Troy’s death was ruled a Homicide. May he Rest In Peace. #HouNews 2/2

— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) November 16, 2022

What happened

On July 28, Khoeler was reported missing from his home before he was later found dead at that same home on Rosegate Drive in the Birnam Wood subdivision.

Troy was found in the top-load machine in the garage, an HCSO homicide detective said.

Jemaine Thomas said he could not find the 7-year-old after returning home just before midnight the night before. That’s when he said he noticed his front door 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. “Anything else after that, I don’t know.”

The adoptive parents were detained and questioned on the day his body was found but they were later released.

Investigators said the couple called 911 in the early morning hours of July 28 to report Troy missing. Just a few hours later, Precinct 4 deputies found his fully clothed but lifeless body inside the washing machine.

In July, a spokesperson with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said “CPS does have history with the family.”