By Marice Richter
DALLAS, Texas (Reuters) - Human remains discovered in a creek in a wooded area south of Dallas may be those of a missing 10-year-old boy who police say apparently was starved to death last year.
Dallas police on Sunday said they could not confirm whether the remains were those of Johnathan Ramsey until forensics and DNA testing were completed. Police said they found the remains during a search for the boy's body.
Police began searching for the child's body in March after arresting his father and stepmother in connection with his disappearance.
Heavy rains and a tornado outbreak stalled the search at the beginning of April, Dallas Police Lt. Scott Walton told Reuters on Sunday.
"When conditions improved, we started again," he said.
The search began after the boy's grandfather contacted police to report that he had not seen or talked to his grandson since January 2011, according to a story in the Dallas Morning News.
The boy's father, Aaron Ramsey, 34, and his stepmother, Elizabeth Ramsey, 31, face child endangerment charges and remained in the Dallas County Jail on Sunday on $500,000 bond.
The two apparently confessed to police that they had punished the boy for punching his pregnant stepmother in the stomach by locking him in a bedroom for months and feeding him mostly bread and water. Police believe he eventually died of starvation in August, according to media reports.
Police had been searching a wooded area of Ellis County, where Aaron Ramsey told police he had disposed of the body, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The remains were found Saturday afternoon in an area of the creek that had been drained earlier in the day.
(Writing by Karen Brooks; Editing by Greg McCune and Stacey Joyce)