Gloria Williams arrested for abandoning kids, boyfriend held for killing 8-yr-old boy
HOUSTON, TEXAS: Gloria Y. Williams and her boyfriend Brian W. Coulter have been arrested in connection with the gruesome discovery of their abandoned children in Houston, Texas, on October 26. According to reports, the mother is facing charges of child neglect while the boyfriend is charged with murder, after authorities discovered a 15, 10, and 7-year-old living alone, with the rotting corpse of their eight-year-old brother. Shockingly, neighbors had been helping the 15-year-old with food and other supplies, unaware he was alone or living with a corpse till police raided the apartment.
The shocking discovery was made after the 15-year-old called 911, revealing the details to the Harris County Sheriff's Office (HCSO). An autopsy on the body of the eight-year-old revealed he died due to homicide last year. All the while, the children's mother Williams lived just 15 minutes away, with Coulter in Westchase. Reportedly, the 15-year-old has been fending for himself and his brothers' thanks to the generosity of neighbors at West Oaks Apartments, none of whom had a clue about their condition.
The elder child finally snapped a year after being alone, setting the stage for his mother's arrest. In a statement on October 24, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said, "Very horrific situation here, very tragic. I've been in this business for a long time and I've never heard of a scenario like this, it really caught me by surprise." With the investigation still ongoing, there's not much we know, but we do have a basic timeline as laid out by the HSCO.
Children abandoned for over a year
The four children were reportedly left to fend for themselves at an apartment by Williams, who occasionally made visits to bring noodles, snacks, and drinks. About six months ago, one of the neighbors, Erica Chapman started providing food as well. She said that the 15-year-old refused cooked meals, only agreeing to take fruit, pizza, and packaged snacks. Another neighbor, Trevor Thompson revealed the boy was "paranoid and feared getting poisoned".
Both of them were providing the 15-year-old with food for months, completely unaware he had a sibling or a dead body in the next room. Thompson was first alerted to the idea of another child only after the 15-year-old replied "The first pizza we had" when asked if he liked the pizza Thompson had provided. "That made me wonder why would he say, "We"." However, none of them called the authorities because they were unaware of the severity of the situation. "I didn't want to push him away by asking questions because I knew he was starving and needed food," Chapman said.
Eventually, though, the 15-year-old had enough. Shortly before he called 911 on October 24, he texted Williams and said he "could not take it anymore." The police quickly arrived at the scene and discovered that the 15, 10, and seven-year-old were malnourished, and the youngest sibling had broken bones on his face. An autopsy on the body of the eight-year-old revealed he died due to multiple blunt force injuries. It's unclear how long exactly the child has been dead. One neighbor noticed a foul odor from the apartment 13 or 14 months ago, which she claims led to several complaints but no action.
Williams' History of neglect
On October 25, the couple was first picked up for questioning but were let go without being charged. On October 26, they were arrested and charged. Williams is facing charges of injury to a child by omission, failure to provide medical care, and failure to provide adequate supervision. Coulter has been charged with murder. Court documents reveal this isn't the first time Williams is being charged for neglecting her children.
In 2019 and 2020, she was charged twice for failing to enroll her kids in school, but they were subsequently dropped due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They were last enrolled in school in May 2020. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is now seeking custody of the two children. Child Protective Services did note that they have a history with the family but refused to elaborate. They did however confirm there was no active investigation going on at the time of the discovery.
"We are trying to identify next of kin to determine exactly what happened and how we got to this point," Sheriff Gonzalez said. It's unclear who the biological father of the children is. More details are expected to be made available in the coming days, as the investigation continues. In a Facebook post, the HSCO did reveal additional charges are expected to be filed and noted both are currently in custody.