Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Three children were abandoned for months while their sibling's body remained next door, Texas police reported.
A call from a 15-year-old at around 3:15 p.m. Sunday came into the Harris County Sheriff's office. He said his 9-year-old brother had been dead for a year and his body was in a room next to his apartment.
He told the police that he and his two younger siblings -- ages 7 and 10 -- were living alone for months without their parents.
Police went to the third floor of the west Harris County apartment and found the three children and skeletal remains of a small child.
The children appeared malnourished, so they were taken to a nearby hospital to be treated. The children's mother and boyfriend were found, questioned and released without charges.
"To ensure the safety of the children, the Department of Family and Protective Services is seeking emergency custody of the three boys," Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Sunday.
He called the situation "horrific" and "tragic."
The cause of death of the deceased child is yet to be determined and the investigation remains active.