A mother and her boyfriend were arrested and charged Tuesday for the death of the woman's 8-year-old son, whose skeletal remains officials say were discovered inside a Houston apartment with three surviving siblings, the Associated Press reported.
The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston determined that the primary cause of the child's death was "homicidal violence with multiple blunt force injuries."
Brian W. Coulter, the boyfriend, was charged with murder, while Gloria Y. Williams, the mother, was charged with felony injury to a child by omission and tampering with evidence (human corpse), according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. Gonzalez said that the two could possibly face more charges. Coulter, 31, and Williams, 35, were both booked into the Harris County Jail without bond as they wait to appear before a magistrate.
The three siblings discovered in the apartment with the remains were alive but apparently abandoned, the AP reported. The two younger siblings appeared to be malnourished and had physical injuries, and all three were transported to a hospital to be assessed and treated, according to the sheriff's office.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Michele Arnold, a spokeswoman for the county's forensic institute, said her agency could not provide additional details on the deceased child.
Deputy Thomas Gilliland, a spokesman for the Harris County Sheriff's Office, also said he could not immediately provide any more information because his agency was still investigating the death.
One of the surviving siblings, a 15-year-old, called the sheriff's department Sunday and told authorities his brother had been dead for a year and the body was inside the apartment, according to the law enforcement agency.
Deputies found the teen and two other siblings, ages 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 appeared that the surviving children were "fending for each other," with the oldest sibling caring for the younger two.
Their apartment didn't have any power, and a neighbor had helped the children by charging a cellphone for them and buying them food, Gilliland said.
The children last attended school in May 2020, said Craig Eichhorn, a spokesman for the Alief school district. They didn't 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 with the apartment complex had noticed anything unusual, Gilliland said.
Highmark Residential, the property management company which runs the apartment complex, did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Tuesday.
Source : https://www.newsweek.com/boyfriend-mother-charged-death-child-left-houston-apartment-3-siblings-1643151848