Update--August 16 11:40 a.m.: Detective Brent Akin of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office retrieved the package from the Houston Press Friday afternoon. Akin met us in a large conference room where the package was being held, and he asked us about the contents before donning gloves and placing the package in a brown evidence bag. He did not inspect the contents at our office. We'd been contacted by local and national media within minutes of the story going online, and a gaggle of news crews were in our offices by the time Akin arrived; they waited in a hallway and shot footage through the room's windows. Akin did not speak with reporters, but the Press gave several interviews after he left.
A person claiming to be the burglar who plundered socialite Theresa Roemer's closet has sent the Houston Press a cache of what appears to be costume jewelry -- including a locket with a lock of hair he claims was her dead son's.
The person initially called the Press August 12, and, speaking through a voice modulator, said he or she would be sending the items to prove that he is the person who burglarized her highly publicized, three-story closet August 2.
The person did not provide a name and was allegedly calling from a burner phone with a 917 (New York City) area code. The alleged burglar claimed to have no relationship with Roemer and said he or she had only become aware of the closet through recent media reports. The person said he or she was not calling from Texas.
Roemer previously told reporters that the burglar had made off with an especially prized possession -- a lock of hair from her son, Michael, who died in a 2006 car crash, that she kept in a silver locket.
The materials received by the Press Friday include a silver locket containing an approximately inch-long lock of brown hair bound in a rubber band. They arrived in a white envelope tucked inside a large brown envelope with no return address on it.
The person said he or she contacted the Press after discovering the stolen items were supposedly worthless, and after his request for a payment from Roemer for the return of the material fell through.
"I contacted Theresa Roemer and explained to her that her items were fake," the person said. "I requested over half a million dollars to return her items and not expose her to the news. During the meet, it seemed as if she contacted authorities. The deal never went through. I'm following through with my threat."
We have just received the materials and have no way of verifying their authenticity. Roemer just settled a bitter defamation suit against her stepson, Maximillian, who she accused in court documents of trashing her online.
Listen to a portion of the weird call:
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We are contacting Theresa Roemer and will update this story with her comment and any other new information we get.
3:46 p.m. We reached Roemer who told us all calls should be directed to the detective in the case. Which we are doing.
3:49 p.m. We reached the detective and he's en route to our offices.