HOUSTON — A mother was arrested Monday after she was accused of drowning her two young children and hiding their bodies underneath a neighbor's home in the Third Ward, according to police.
Sheborah Latrice Thomas, 30, is facing two counts of capital murder.
According to investigators, Thomas told officers she drowned her children Friday morning in a bathtub at their home in the 3000 block of Tierwester Street. Thomas' sister-in-law identified the children as 7-year-old Araylon and 5-year-old Kayiana.
Police said Thomas wrapped the children's bodies into sheets and placed them in a trash can behind her home. Investigators said she later tried to bury the kids under her neighbor's house. She stopped when she realized the hole wasn't deep enough and decided to push them back under the house, officers said.
Neighbor James Lawrence Maiden, Sr. grew up in the home behind the Thomas family and — like many in the Third Ward community — he was utterly shocked.
"It really took me for a loop, you know," he said, "Those little kids will never get a chance to know what life is all about."
Houston Police Department investigators said one of Thomas' friends saw her throwing things out of her home and approached her. The friend asked where Kayiana and Araylon where and detectives said she "matter-of-factually" told the friend she had killed them.
The friend immediately drove Thomas to a nearby police station, where she confessed to drowning the children.
"It was obvious that she had to be sick," said Dantrel Mills, a neighborhood gardener. "I don't think nobody in their right mind, man, would do something like that to their kids."
The children's father is incarcerated and had to learn the horrific news from his sister Kita Smith.
"I had to tell him over the phone and he's heartbroken," Smith said. "He's devastated. He really couldn't say anything but 'why' and I can't tell him why because I don't know why."
Teen Jarvis Vance remembers seeing little Araylon and Kayiana playing around the neighborhood.
"They were joyful," Vance said. "They always used to play outside (and) ride their bikes. They were a lot of fun."
Smith has created a GoFundMe page to help bury her niece and nephew.
She's tried considering why Thomas would take her children's life. She told NewsFix Thomas may have cracked under the pressure of being a single parent.
"That still doesn't give you a reason to harm your kids," she said.
HPD is working with Houston Child Protective Services to investigate the children's deaths.