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Felony charges filed against a woman and her boyfriend in the death of the woman's child

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez on the scene of a broken water line on February 27, 2020.

A woman and her boyfriend have been charged in the death of an 8-year-old child whose body was kept inside a Houston-area apartment for nearly a year along with three seemingly abandoned children.

The mother of the children, Gloria Williams, 35, and her boyfriend, Brian Coulter, 31, were arrested on Tuesday after the woman’s 15-year-old child told authorities on Sunday that his brother, 8-year-old Kendrick Lee, had been dead for nearly a year and that his decomposing body had been kept in a nearby room within the 3535 Green Crest apartment.

Coulter was charged with the child’s murder, and Williams was charged with injury to a child by omission and tampering with evidence. Additional charges are expected to be filed, according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

During a Wednesday morning press conference, Gonzalez said first responders found the three siblings — ages 15, 10, and seven — living in a “deplorable condition,” along with the deceased child’s skeletal remains.

“We saw soiled carpet, no furniture — no furniture at all — no bedding, no blankets, nothing that we could see,” Gonzalez said. “It was very (a) bad condition for anyone, especially children to live in.”

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences on Tuesday ruled the child’s death “a murder by multiple blunt force injuries.” According to court documents, Coulter allegedly punched and kicked the boy to death in late Nov. 2020.

Gonzalez said that police found that the three surviving siblings had been living alone in the apartment for several months, seemingly living off of junk food that was provided by the mother on a routine basis. The mother and her boyfriend moved out of the apartment in March, leaving the children alone with their decomposing sibling, officials said.

Gonzalez added that two of the children may be on the autistic spectrum, and that all three have not attended school since May 2020.

Police also found that the 10-year-old sibling had a serious injury to his jaw, which authorities believe was caused by Coulter several weeks ago, according to Sgt. Dennis Wolford with Harris County’s homicide unit. Wolford said the child’s injuries would require surgery, which would take place soon.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services was granted temporary custody of the three children on Monday.

“My prayer is that the remaining children find the love support and protection that they so desperately need and deserve, and that they have been missing for so long,” Gonzalez said. “I hope that their future is better than their past.”

Copyright 2021 Houston Public Media News 88.7. To see more, visit Houston Public Media News 88.7.

Lucio is a reporter and photojournalist currently studying media production at the University of Houston. He has previously worked as a news photographer for Houston Public Media, the NPR affiliate in Houston, Texas. His photography has appeared throughout several Texas-based NPR affiliates.