A Texas mother implicated in the 2016 drowning of her two children in a bathtub at their residence was on Monday sentenced to 40 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to the charges brought against her. In the wake of the killings, the suspect, identified as, Sheborah Latrice Thomas, hid her children’s bodies under a neighbor’s home, authorities said, per PEOPLE.
The deceased minors were identified as 5-year-old Kayiana Thomas and Araylon “Ray Ray” Thomas, 7. In a press release, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said Thomas was sentenced after she pleaded guilty to two counts of murder.
“This mother knew what she was doing, she knew it was wrong, and we vowed to seek justice for these two children,” District Attorney Kim Ogg said in the release. “This plea agreement means that family members will not have to testify and this woman cannot appeal her conviction or the sentence.”
The release stated that Thomas initially drowned Kayiana in the bathtub before she put her daughter’s body on the bed. She then asked her son Araylon to come to the bathroom before she also drowned him. The day after the killings, Thomas put her children’s bodies in a trashcan at the back of the house and reported for work, the release stated, adding that she also attempted to obtain her paycheck early.
Thomas later attempted to dig a hole to bury her deceased children. But she ended up disposing of their bodies under a neighbor’s house after she was unable to dig a hole that was big enough, the release stated.
Authorities also said Thomas informed a friend about the drownings and also told him she had to leave town. Her friend initially thought she was joking. But when it became clear she was serious, he asked her more questions, the release stated, adding that Thomas also showed him where the bodies could be located. He then got in touch with Houston police.
Houston police said Thomas’ 12-year-old son was not at the residence when she drowned her two other children, PEOPLE reported. Authorities said he was unharmed. In 2012, one of Thomas’ children was found walking on the streets with a homeless man who was intoxicated, per ABC 13. She lost custody of her children as a result. A family friend also said CPS and Houston police came to the family’s residence the day before she drowned her children.
Assistant District Attorney Sarah Moss said Thomas’ conviction “gives the family closure, and the children can finally be at rest.”