The Temple house where two dead children and their surviving siblings were found Sept. 30 had no edible food or water.
Terrikah Lyn Haynes, 36, of Temple, was in custody Wednesday at the Bell County Jail, held in lieu of bonds that totaled $300,000. She was charged with two counts of second-degree felonies of abandoning/endangering a child causing imminent danger of death or bodily injury — in connection with the two surviving children.
The surviving girls, ages 4 and 6, had nothing to eat or drink in the house when they were rescued by Temple Police officers.
Dried beans and uncooked rice were in the house, but there was no way to cook them because there was no running water or electricity, according to an arrest affidavit. The water was disconnected since Sept. 3, the affidavit said.
The warrants were issued Oct. 4 by Bell County Justice of the Peace Cliff Coleman, who set the bonds. He pronounced the two children dead Sept. 30 and ordered their autopsies.
No charges were filed by press time Wednesday in connection with the deaths of 1-year-old Janea Boyd and 2-year-old Terik Boyd, Haynes’ other children.
When asked if any additional charges might be filed, Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza said, “At this time two charges of endangering have been filed.”
Haynes was arrested Wednesday by Temple Police Department officers at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Temple, where she was transported Sept. 30. Haynes was released Wednesday from the hospital, police spokesman Cody Weems said.
Locating the children
The four children living in the house reportedly hadn’t been seen for at least several days prior to Sept. 30, the affidavit said.
The safety bolts were locked from inside the house.
A Temple Police officer went to the front and back doors, but no one answered. She looked into a bedroom window and smelled something — the odor of decay.
Another person also smelled that odor.
The officer called a supervisor, found another bedroom window with broken glass, removed the screen and shade and saw a very young child inside. The girl, who looked very frightened, was on the floor by a woman, the affidavit said.
The officer went inside and moved two young girls to a bed before she checked on the woman.
Later identified as Haynes, the woman was conscious, wouldn’t talk and her pupils appeared dilated.
Janea and Terik were already dead in the house. The affidavit doesn’t detail where they were found or the conditions of their bodies.
Weems previously said the children were dead “for quite some time,” but it’s unknown yet for how long. The autopsy results from the Southwest Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas were still pending Wednesday.
An officer gave the two surviving girls some water, and they were soon taken to Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Medical Center.
The two girls will temporarily remain in the custody of Child Protective Services, a judge ruled Tuesday. The agency was given a temporary managing conservatorship, spokeswoman Mary Walker said Wednesday.
A new status hearing was set for Nov. 19.
Haynes was represented in court by an attorney, Walker said.
CPS is conducting an investigation along with the Temple Police Department.
Conditions in house
Other rooms in the house had empty 2-liter bottles of soda and empty juice boxes.
The home’s temperature was 87 degrees, the thermostat showed.
Weather data for the week before the children were found ranged between mid to high 90s, the affidavit said.
The children could get to the toilet, but there wasn’t a way to flush it. It didn’t look like the bathtub had been used for a while because it had coffee beans in it.
Another officer went to the hospital to see the children. They had clothes on that smelled like decay and trash. They were hungry and thirsty, that officer said. They were given something to eat and drink and said they hadn’t had “that much food in a long time,” the affidavit said. The children said they lived on “fruit snacks.”
One girl said they couldn’t take baths because it wasn’t working. She also said her mother didn’t give them anything to drink. The other girl said they drank water — but there wasn’t any anymore, she told officers.
Clarence Carter met Haynes earlier this year at the Salvation Army, he previously told a Telegram reporter. Carter drove her to different food banks and places to pay bills, he said, and described her as “a good child.”
Carter said Wednesday he was in Houston for the two-week period before the deaths and hadn’t seen Haynes.
He said she was a “real spiritual friend, her and her children both.”
Carter also said she was a woman who was “trying to get it together for her children, and she always put them first in everything.”
Carter added the mother had been a victim of domestic violence.
April Vasquez, who lives four houses down, said that looking back she saw no obvious signs of what was going on. She was surprised that none of the neighbors ever heard the kids crying from hunger.
“I have always said that you can never tell what a person is like just by looking at them,” Vasquez said. “Someone can be the nicest looking person on the outside but completely evil on the inside.”
In a previous Telegram interview, Vasquez said she hadn’t seen the mother in about a month before the police found the children.
Ofelia Lichtenberger said that while she had only seen the mother and two of her kids once, she could never have imagined something like this happening here in Temple.
“As a mother, I would never try to harm my kids, I never even wanted to spank them,” Lichtenberger said.
Some neighbors said the children always waved and said hello.
Neighbor Kadeezsha Campbell, said when the children were found, “She was doing all of this for her kids. So that is why I feel that she did none of this.”
Another neighbor said Haynes was “really nice” and was always well-dressed — as were her children.
“The only way I would believe that she had something to do with those children’s murder is if the good Lord made a special trip from Heaven and whispered in my ear and told me that,” Carter said.
Staff writer Shane Monaco contributed to this report.