Authorities in Texas said a mother abandoned her three children and their deceased brother in an apartment for almost a year after her boyfriend brutally beat the eight-year-old boy to death.
According to ABC13, the older sibling, who is 15-years-old, ultimately called 911 to report their mother had left them and their deceased brother in an apartment. The other boys are aged nine and seven. Authorities who subsequently responded to the scene found the skeletal remains of the deceased minor.
The two suspects, identified as Gloria Williams and Brian Coulter, were arrested on Tuesday while they were looking up news publications about themselves at a public library.
Coulter, who has since been charged with killing the minor, has his bond set at $1 million. The judge has also ordered him to stay away from the minors – who are witnesses – as well as any other minor. The 31-year-old suspect cannot also get in touch with the boys’ mother, Gloria. And though the judge read Coulter’s charges on Wednesday, the suspect was not present in court as he’s under mental evaluation.
The charges against Williams, 35, include injury to a child by omission and tampering with evidence, a human corpse. Her bond has also been set at $900,000. And just like Coulter, Williams is to stay away from her children as well as any other minor. She cannot also get in touch with Coulter.
Investigators initially interviewed the couple on Monday, but they were released afterward. During a press conference on Wednesday, Sgt. Dennis Wolford of Harris County’s homicide unit explained they had to scrutinize evidence before bringing charges against the suspects.
“From very beginning, we were focused on getting these charges done,” Wolford said. “We wanted to get them done as quickly as possible.
Authorities also added that the boys, who were said to be “special needs children”, seemingly do not share the same father. Investigators said they believe Coulter fatally beat the deceased eight-year-old before moving out of the apartment with Williams, ABC13 reported. Investigators said the boys were left to look after themselves, and the minors informed deputies they hadn’t seen their mother in months.
The boys also shared how they and their deceased brother were subjected to abuse. They told investigators they remembered Coulter repeatedly kicking and punching their deceased brother until he became motionless and his eyes became black. Following the fatal assault, the boys said Coulter covered their brother’s body with a blanket.
Williams also told investigators the incident happened in November, and she actually saw Coulter beating her deceased son. She claimed she attempted to stop him, adding that she saw the victim’s body covered with a blanket the next day.
Following the assault, Williams said Coulter apologized for assaulting her son and claimed he failed to control himself. That was after she confronted him over the incident. Williams added Coulter told her that he repeatedly punched the deceased minor “until he went to sleep.” She, however, said she did not report the boy’s death to the police because Coulter had stopped her from doing that. Williams claimed she was also afraid Child Protective Services will come for her children and she’ll be implicated.
Authorities said Williams and Coulter moved to an apartment that was about 25 minutes from where the boys stayed. Williams apparently gave the minors food from time to time, but it wasn’t enough as they looked visibly thin when authorities found them.
The couple also went to the home occasionally, and investigators suspect Coulter beat and injured the nine-year-old when they visited them some weeks back. The boy was said to have sustained a jaw injury which will require surgery.
A neighbor who spoke to ABC13 said she started giving food to the boys’ older brother as far back as six months ago. Other neighbors were also reportedly giving them food.
Meanwhile, authorities said they could bring more charges against the two suspects.