HOUSTON – A man who led police to the charred remains of his two children was charged with capital murder on Monday.
Randy Sylvester Sr., of Pasadena, has been held in the Harris County jail without bond since he was arrested June 17 for assaulting the mother of the children. On Monday, District Attorney Ken Magidson charged him with killing the children.
No decision has been made on whether to pursue the death penalty, Magidson said.
No motive was discussed. Sylvester told the Houston Chronicle in a jailhouse interview Sunday that he didn't kill the children but said they were killed because he owed someone money.
"I told Quanell (X), I told the police, I told everybody that it was about the money," he told the newspaper. "They (alleged killers) used it to get to my kids."
A call to Sylvester's attorney, Jimmy Ortiz, was not immediately returned Monday afternoon.
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Police found the remains of 7-year-old Randy Sylvester Jr. and his 3-year-old sister Denim Sylvester packed in a wooden chest and a suitcase and left in a wooded area in Houston early Saturday morning. Their mother had reported them missing last the focus should be on the crime
Sylvester, 27, led searchers to the remains late Friday after a week of misleading statements about where the children were located, Pasadena police spokesperson Vance Mitchell said.
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 and Sylvester led authorities to the site after Sylvester 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.
Tim Miller's volunteer search organization, Texas Equusearch, provided more than 500 volunteers to the search effort.
The search was as grim an undertaking as the Dickinson-based mounted search and recovery organization has ever undertaken, Miller said Saturday. "I believe that when they were found, it was a huge relief to all of us," he said.