- Father charged after 10-year-old's body found in cardboard box
- Officials: Family of disabled boy found dead in box had history with CPS
HOUSTON – The father of a 10-year-old disabled boy whose body was found in a cardboard box over the weekend admitted to a relative that his son drowned in the bathtub, according to prosecutors.
In a court appearance Tuesday morning, prosecutors said Jeffrey Singer, 44, told the boy’s uncle that he’d left the child in the bathtub while he went to the store on April 12. When he came back, 10-year-old Jonathan Singer was dead.
Jeffrey Singer, who cried during the hearing, is charged with serious bodily injury to a child and remained free on bond Tuesday.
After the hearing, Singer’s attorney said his client did nothing to hurt his son and is devastated by the boy’s death.
Singer was arrested on Sunday after police found the boy’s body in a cardboard box in the back of his SUV.
Police said Singer had driven to his father’s house with the body in the vehicle and told his father that he’d harmed his son, who was blind and suffered from cerebral palsy.
The grandfather called 911.
CPS officials confirmed Monday that they had investigated the Singer family in the past.
In January 2010, there was a complaint that Jonathan was neglected and abused by both of his@parents. CPS investigated, but said they found no evidence to support the claim.
A second complaint was filed in May 2010. The accusation was Jonathan’s mother, 44-year-old Tina Madrid, was ill and couldn’t properly care for her son.
CPS officials said they tried to investigate that claim, but the family had moved and couldn’t be found.
Officials were conducting a preliminary autopsy on Jonathan Singer’s remains Monday to determine a cause of death. Investigators believe he may have been dead for several days when he was found.
Madrid was also arrested after Jonathan’s body was found, and the DA initially accepted charges of neglect of a child against her. But on Monday, the DA’s office said they needed additional information before those charges could be filed.
Madrid was released from custody and was reportedly suffering from some unspecified health issues.