BEACH CITY, Texas — A 14-year-old boy has been charged with two counts of capital murder after his grandparents were found dead inside their Beach City home.
The bodies of Chester and Sandra Bienek, both 72 years old, were found Tuesday afternoon in the 11000 block of Cedar Gulley Road.
“I was on my way to get the kids from school, and I was really shook up. It’s a very quiet community. Every time we go up and down the street, we’re always waving at each other," the victim's neighbor, Anita Salazar, said.
Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne outlined the details at a press conference Wednesday morning.
The student was absent from school Tuesday and that prompted school officials to check on him.
"Barbers Hill Independent School District has a very proactive truancy program. This would have been his second day of absence and the teachers were concerned due to classroom performance, and he normally is not an absent child," Hawthorne explained.
The principal of the student's school and a Barbers Hill ISD police officer paid a home visit, checking on the whereabouts of the boy.
"They spoke with the student that morning at the front door and the student advised that he was sick. They asked to speak to the grandparents, which is who he was living with there at that residence. The student advised that the grandparents were shopping and they were not home," Hawthorne said.
The principal told the student to have his grandfather call the school when they returned.
"That phone call never took place so the school did their follow-up call to the grandfather, the student answered the phone. At one point, he tried to act as if he was the grandfather on the telephone," Hawthorne said. "The principal knew it was the student. He could tell it was the student and continued to press the student on where the grandparents were."
The principal instructed the student to go find his grandparents, and the student placed the principal on hold. When he returned to the phone, he was crying and said "grandma has blood on her," Hawthorne said.
The school immediately called 911 and deputies went to investigate.
When deputies arrived, they found the grandparents lying dead in their bed. They had each been shot once in the back of the head with a .45 caliber gun. Hawthorne said he believes the grandparents were possibly killed late Sunday night or early Monday morning. All indications show the grandparents were sound asleep when the fatal shots were fired. It appears the boy was in the home with the bodies since his grandparents were killed.
“He obviously had some other issues going on that it reached that point. It should have never gone that far," Salazar said. “It really makes you think. Are we really doing all that we need to be doing for our children?”
The boy was taken into custody and is being detained at the Hardin County Juvenile Facility in Kountze, Texas. He is expected to appear in court on Oct. 26.
The grandparents were last seen alive on Sunday, when the grandpa was out fishing in the neighborhood. Their home sits along Trinity Bay.
"This is tragic. It's extremely tragic. It's rocked this county and rocked this community," Hawthorne said. "This is a very quiet community, and the school district is very involved."