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Couple charged in death of 8-year-old found unresponsive in a hotel

HOUSTON – The mother of an 8-year-old boy found dead Tuesday night at a local hotel is currently being held on a $150,000 bond on two criminal charges connected to his death.

Kayla Holzendorf, 24 has been charged with injury to a child and tampering with evidence in connection with the death her son, according to officers. Her husband, Dominique Lewis, 28 faces the same charges.

Further investigation into the case showed Houston police officers spoke with the child just a few weeks before he was found unresponsive in the hotel with both new and old injuries, including patches of missing skin and deep ligature marks.

HPD spokesman John Cannon noted in his report that the boy seemed playful and not fearful of his parents. In addition, his parents informed them he got the cuts and bruises from falling off a bicycle.

Following normal protocol, officers notified Child Protective Services and the Physical Abuse Unit who both noted nothing out of the ordinary.

Earlier this week officials responded to a possible drowning call at the Quality Inn and Suites around 11 p.m. Investigators knew there was more to the story than presented.

Gilbert Sawtelle, the chief prosecutor of the Child Fatality Division at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office noted there were handcuffs and duct tape found in the room, he added the mother admitted to hiding the handcuffs, which led to her tampering wuth evidence charge.

The boy’s lifeless body was found on the floor in the middle of a room on the second floor of the hotel. Paramedics attempted CPR and transported him to Texas Children’s Hospital where he was officially pronounced dead.

An autopsy will be done to determine the exact charges the couple will face or if they should be upgraded, said Sawtelle.

Holzendorf is due back in court on Friday.



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