HOUSTON – A woman and her boyfriend were arrested Tuesday in the death of their 8-year-old son, whose skeletal remains were found in a Houston-area apartment with three surviving but apparently abandoned siblings, reports said. responsible.
Brian W. Coulter, the 31-year-old boyfriend of the mother of the deceased child, was charged Tuesday with murder. The mother, Gloria Y. Williams, 35, has been charged with injuring a child by omission and tampering with evidence (human corpse), Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted Tuesday night.
Both were held in Harris County Jail without bail pending a court appearance. It was not immediately clear whether the two had lawyers. Gonzalez said other charges are possible.
The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston, which conducts all autopsies in the county, listed the leading cause of death as “homicidal violence with multiple blunt injuries.”
Institute spokesperson Michele Arnold said his agency could not provide further details.
Deputy Thomas Gilliland, a spokesperson for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, also said he could not immediately provide more information as his agency was still investigating the death.
One of the surviving siblings, a 15-year-old, called the sheriff’s department on Sunday and told authorities his brother had been dead for a year and the body was inside the apartment, according to the police.
MPs found the teenager and two other siblings, aged 10 and 7, living alone in the apartment, Gonzalez said. The 15-year-old told authorities his parents had not lived in the apartment for several months.
Gonzalez said it seemed like the surviving children were “getting along for each other”, with the older brother looking after the younger two.
Their apartment had no electricity and a neighbor had helped the children by charging them a cell phone and buying them food, Gilliland said.
The younger children appeared to be malnourished and had physical injuries, according to the sheriff’s office. All three siblings were taken to hospital and assessed and treated.
The children last attended school in May 2020, said Craig Eichhorn, spokesperson for the Alief School District. They did not return for the 2020-2021 school year and school officials attempted an unsuccessful home visit in September 2020, Eichhorn said.
A judge on Monday granted the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services temporary custody of the three children.
Investigators were still trying to determine why no one in the apartment complex had noticed anything unusual, Gilliland said.
Highmark Residential, the property management company that manages the apartment complex, did not immediately respond to a call for comment on Tuesday.
Associated Press writer Terry Wallace in Dallas contributed to this report.
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