Investigation continues into toddlers' deaths; 1 arrested

Published on Friday, 25 July 2014 23:14 - Written by From Staff Reports

Quitman police continued their investigation on Friday into the deaths of two girls, ages 3 and 4, and have confirmed an arrest in the case. 

Thomas Wayne “TJ” Liles, 19, of Quitman, was arrested and charged with tampering with or fabricating evidence, a third-degree felony, according to a Quitman police news release.

Witnesses saw Liles running from an apartment at the Dogwood Villa Apartments at 102 Earlene Drive, where the two girls were found dead, and throwing a large item into a nearby dumpster, according to the release.

“Searching the dumpster, police located items consistent with having come from the apartment where the girls were found dead,” according to the release. “During an interview with a man matching the physical description provided to police, Liles admitted to placing the items into the dumpster.” 

However, police said it was unclear whether the discarded items were related to the deaths, and authorities remain tight-lipped about the cause of death and names. 

According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the family had been investigated for allegations of medical neglect and physical neglect.

The report cited the children’s previous home had no running water, large amount of trash and debris inside the home and one had a “bump” on the leg that appeared to be infected.

During the investigation, the children’s mother moved into better housing and sought medical care for them.

When the department closed the case in February, the mother and children were living alone.