Houston mom, boyfriend charged after child’s corpse decayed in apartment for months
The medical examiner ruled that the boy died from multiple blunt force injuries; Gloria Wiliams and Brian Coulter charged in case
A Texas mother of six has been charged with injury to a child and her boyfriend is facing a murder charge for the death of her 8-year-old autistic son, whose body was left in an abandoned apartment for nearly a year.
Gloria Williams, 35, and Brian Coulter, the 31-year-old boyfriend, were reportedly at a library searching news articles about their heinous crimes when they were arrested Tuesday evening, KTRK-TV reports.
William’s 15-year-old son reportedly alerted authorities to his deplorable living conditions at an apartment near Houston in Harris County. The teen had been living alone with his two younger brothers, ages 10 and 7, and the skeletal remains of a third brother were found by deputies under a blanket. The unit was infested with roaches, the carpet was soiled and there was no furniture or beds.
The medical examiner ruled that the 8-year-old, identified as Kendrick by family members, died from multiple blunt force injuries. His death has been ruled a homicide. Investigators said the teenager explained that Coulter kicked and punched his younger brother to death, and his mother did little to stop him. After the fatal beating, Coulter covered the boy’s lifeless body with a blanket. Coulter and Williams then moved out, leaving her children to fend for themselves.
Williams and Coulter reportedly moved to an apartment just 15 minutes away in the Westchase District, police said. She would occasionally visit her children to drop off snacks. The teenager told police that he had not seen his mother in months. He relied on neighbors for food, according to the report.
Sgt. Dennis Wolfford described the boys as “special needs children.”
“It was very easy for these kids to fall through the cracks,” Bob Sanborn, president and CEO of Children at Risk, told KTRK-TV. “Texas has always relied on teachers to be that line of first defense for child abuse and these kids never got to that place where a teacher could identify what was going on with them, or begin an investigation, or alert CPS or others to what was happening.”
According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, all three boys were thin and malnourished and the 7-year-old had facial fractures that require surgery.
Family members are speaking out about the tragedy, noting that Kendrick was a sweet, mostly non-verbal, kid.
“Kendrick was autistic, to my knowledge. When he would come around our family, all he did was smile and be playful and laugh with you,” said Yasmin Creag, Williams’ cousin.
She said the family offered to raise Kendrick when he was younger, but Williams refused.
“My momma has been asking for Kendrick since the day he was born and she kept telling her no. We knew that with all of these kids, eventually, she was not going to be able to be the best parent she could be,” Creag said.
Williams had a total of six children ranging in age from 7 to 17, according to the family. Two of her four boys, including Kendrick, had autism. Williams reportedly had no parental rights over her two daughters. She kicked her oldest daughter out two years ago because the teenager often sparred with Coulter about him abusing her brother, and Williams didn’t like that.
The family claims Williams was estranged from her relatives.
“Every three to six months she has a new phone number,” Creag said. “Every three to six months she’s moving apartments, so we never have a solid address for her.”
Anytime they inquired about the kids, Williams made it seem like everything was all good.
“She kept saying ‘they’re ok, they’re in school.’ Anytime we did go help and ask, ‘Where the kids at?’ She would say, ‘Oh, they are in school.’ We never had an apartment number. She (would) always be like, ‘I’ll meet y’all at the front of the apartments.’ We didn’t think anything of it,” Creag added.
Williams is charged with injury to a child by omission and tampering with evidence, a human corpse. Coulter is charged with murder.
Child Protective Services is seeking emergency custody of the three boys. Williams’ relatives intend to fight for guardianship.
“Very sweet children. Very nice. Very well spoken … at the same time, that thousand-yard stare, that blankness in the eyes,” Wolfford said of the kids. “At the same time they were as sweet as you can be. Nice children.”
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