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CPS Twice Investigated Texas Mom Who Drowned Her Children, Hid Bodies

HOUSTON, Texas — The Houston mother who drowned her two children and then hid the bodies under a neighbor’s house appeared in court on Wednesday. Her attorney says she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and severe depression in 2012. In April 2014, Child Protective Services (CPS) asked a judge to release the children to the mother and the court signed off on the order.

Sheborah Latrice Thorn Thomas has a history with CPS and the police have been out to investigate on five occasions in the last four months, according to the Houston Chronicle.

As reported by Breitbart Texas, law enforcement officers in Houston were notified that Thomas told an acquaintance that she needed help moving from her home because she had drowned her children in the bathtub and hid the bodies under a neighbor’s house.

Kese Smith saw Thomas throwing out a lot of trash and when he walked up to her, she asked him to help her pack because she needed to move right away. The 33-year-old mother had just moved to the neighborhood near downtown Houston in April. The Houston Chronicle reported that Thomas had tried to dig a hole to bury the two children but could not.

Houston Police Department officers arrested the woman after Smith drove Thomas to a near-by patrol station. Officers went to her home and found the bodies of 7-year-old Araylon Thomas and 5-year-old Kayiana L. Thomas.

At the time the story was reported, a spokeswoman with CPS, Tejal Patel, confirmed that the agency had been previously involved with the family but did not provide any details. As reported by Breitbart Texas and the Houston Chronicle, CPS said they would launch an investigation and do “a top-to-bottom review of this case to see what led to this point.”

Breitbart Texas reviewed court documents that show that CPS investigated Thomas and the father of the children, Danny Ray Thomas, in late 2012 after two-year-old Kayiana was found in the street with an unknown male who was intoxicated. Kayriana had urinated on herself, was cold, hypothermic and she had abrasions on her abdomen and flank. Officers took the toddler to Texas Children’s Hospital.

An investigator with CPS reported that Kayiana had been on the streets for six days with a homeless man and her mother. The man had a history of PCP use and has some mental health issues associated with hallucinations and drugs. The toddler was found sitting on top of the man and shaking him. The girl was taken into CPS custody where she was placed with her maternal grandmother. The whereabouts of her mother and father were unknown at the time.

The judge signed an order in April 2014, nonsuiting the case because the children had been with the mother for ten months and had done “fine.”

CPS also investigated the family back in 2010 for neglectful supervision. The case was ruled out with the disposition of “Unable to Determine.” The department had received a report alleging neglectful supervision and potential risk of harm due to illegal drug activities. The affidavit signed by the CPS staffer reported that the children “are in an unprotected environment that may compromise their safety.”

Harris County District Clerk records show that Thomas has a criminal history with three misdemeanor theft charges and one charge of failing to identify herself to a police officer.

The father of the children, Danny Ray Thomas, is reported to be currently serving time in prison for possession of PCP. He has a long criminal history dating back to 2000 (burglary of a vehicle). He has been convicted and has served time for burglary of a habitation, three misdemeanor theft cases, possession of marijuana, and possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful flight, terroristic threat, and a 2012 assault with bodily injury to a family member.

The Houston Chronicle reported that since Thomas moved to the neighborhood in early April, law enforcement officers have been to the home three times for family disturbances and two of these involved the use of a weapon. The local paper also reported that police went to the home on two other occasions for child custody issues and this visit also involved one of the family disturbances.

Seborah Thomas has an older son with Jermaine Christopher Anderson. The father recently filed a Petition to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship on July 25, 2016 claiming that Thomas “has a history or pattern of child neglect directed against” the child. An affidavit attached to the petition states “CPS gave me possession of our son more than four years ago due to Ms. Thorn’s drug use. Our court order was amended on July 28, 2014, to state that my son was living with me and to make the child support zero. I have had my son for more than four years until last night when Ms. Thorn came with police [and] took my son away.”

Thomas has been charged with two capital murder charges for causing the death of a child under the age of ten years old.

The Houston area is the home of the famous case of Andrea Yates. The Clear Lake, Texas, mother drowned her five children in a bathtub in 2001. Yates’ defense centered on mental health issues, including postpartum depression. Her conviction was overturned and after her case was tried again, she was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.

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