HOUSTON – The father of two missing children led investigators to the children's charred remains, police said Saturday.
Police found the remains of Randy Sylvester Jr., 7, and his sister Denim Sylvester, 3, packed in a wooden chest and a suitcase and left in a wooded area in southeastern Houston, about 5 miles from their home in suburban Pasadena, said Vance Mitchell, a Pasadena police spokesman.
Their father, Randy Sylvester Sr., 27, led searchers to the remains late Friday after a week of misleading statements about where the children were located, Mitchell said. Sylvester remained jailed Saturday on an assault charge stemming from an alleged Monday night attack on the children's mother, Jerilynn St. Cyr.
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Police found the children's remains after community activist Quanell X interceded with the father at the request of the children's mother, Mitchell said.
The discovery of the bodies ended a week of turbulent emotions for police, searchers and the children's family and friends.
"It's been very, very, very rough. I mean, we've had a lot of people; we've dedicated a lot of officers and resources to this case," Mitchell said. "It's been very emotional for a lot of people since we're dealing with two young children."
Authorities said Quanell X led authorities to the site after the father talked with him for about an hour near a pond in Pasadena. Police said Sylvester's previous statements had directed their search to the pond, which was drained in the hope of finding the children, but the remains were located six miles away, Mitchell said.
There was no comment Saturday from St. Cyr, who did not respond to calls to her apartment. There was also no response to calls seeking comment from Quanell X's New Black Panther Party.
Tim Miller's volunteer search organization, Texas Equusearch, provided more than 500 volunteers to the search effort. From the beginning, "everybody knew they were deceased," Miller said Saturday.
The search was as grim an undertaking as the Dickinson-based mounted search and recovery organization has ever undertaken, Miller said. "I believe that when they were found, it was a huge relief to all of us," he said.