A family acquaintance has been charged with capital murder in the case of Jonathan Foster, a 12-year-old Texas boy last seen Christmas Eve before a burned body believed to be his was found Tuesday, according to local media reports.
Mona Yvette Nelson, 44, an acquaintance of Foster's family, was named a person of interest early Wednesday and questioned by police, ABC News station KTRK in Houston reported. The Harris County, Texas, District Attorney's Office later told KTRK that it had accepted capital murder charges against Nelson.
The Houston Chronicle, citing police, reported Nelson was arrested Wednesday morning at her home.
According to the Chronicle, Nelson's truck was seen on surveillance video from an office near where Texas authorities found the burned body five miles from Foster's home.
After an autopsy, that body was identified as the fifth-grader's, police told KTRK.
A Houston 911 emergency supervisor declined to discuss the case with ABCNews.com late Wednesday, referring all questions to the police media relations department. However, a voicemail message indicated the department was closed.
Earlier, police told ABCNews.com that the charred body had not been identified and there was some hope Foster would be found alive.
"The body ... is that of a child, but it was so badly burned that we can't determine the gender or identification," Houston Police Department spokesman Kese Smith told ABCNews.com. "The Medical Examiner's office has that unfortunate task to determine, and until that happens, we are treating these two incidents as separate cases.
"We are still running leads down on Jonathan Foster, and we'd very much like to find him alive," Smith said at the time.
Calls made to the Houston Medical Examiner's office were not immediately returned Wednesday afternoon.
Foster's grandmother also held out hope that the burned body was not her grandson's.
"I'm trying to stay positive and trying to stay strong and believe he's still out there and will come home," said the grandmother, Mary Gifford.
Gifford told ABC News that the ordeal has been "like a roller coaster" and that she prayed for the safe return of Jonathan, who last was seen Dec. 24 at the Houston home he shared with his mother, Angela Davis, and his stepfather, David Davis.
"My gut feeling is mixed," said Gifford. "Sometimes, I think that something has happened to him, and he's not coming back, and other times I think he's safe and he's coming home."
Gifford said she knows something must have happened to her grandson, because he would never run away from his mother, whom he had just started living with again last month. According to Gifford, Jonathan had been counting down the days when he would be reunited with his mother, who was "getting her stuff together" after "going through some things."
Jonathan is believed to have been last seen Christmas Eve day at 1:45 p.m. by his stepfather, but a disturbing phone call between the child and his mother had Gifford and authorities worried.
Gifford said that when her daughter returned a call from her son, who had left a message at her office Friday, a woman she did not know picked up the phone.
"My daughter asked to speak with her son, and then the woman asked [Jonathan] if Angela was his mother," said Gifford. "He said, 'Yes m'am, Angela is my mother,' and then the phone went dead."