Houston Mother Lived with Boy's Remains for Months After Murder, Then Abandoned Children: Prosecutors

Gloria Williams and Brian Coulter lived in the apartment until March before leaving her children behind to fend for themselves, say authorities

Kendrick Lee
Kendrick Lee. Photo: Facebook

The Texas mother whose three children were found living alone with their slain 8-year-old brother's remains had abandoned the siblings months before they were discovered, prosecutors said in court on Monday.

Gloria Y. Williams, 35, has been charged with injury to a child by omission and tampering with evidence (human corpse) in connection with the November 2020 death of her 8-year-old son, Kendrick Lee. Her boyfriend, Brian W. Coulter, 31, has been charged with Kendrick's murder and is accused of beating the boy to death.

On Monday, Williams made her first court appearance, where authorities said the children, ages 7, 9 and 15, had been left in the Harris County apartment with their brother's remains since March 2021.

According prosecutors, the couple lived with Kendrick's remains until March, when they moved out, KHOU reports. The three children told authorities they had been locked in a room with their brother's remains, even when their mother and Coulter lived in the apartment, according to KTRK.

In an attempt to keep her son's death a secret, Williams would send groceries to the apartment once a month, prosecutors said, KPRC reports. She also continued to pay rent on the apartment.

The boy's body was found Oct. 24 after his 15-year-old brother contacted authorities to report his sibling "had been dead for a year and his body was in the room next to his," Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez previously told reporters.

Upon arrival, deputies found three children — ages 15, 10 and 7 — left behind in an apartment, with "skeletal remains ... also found inside the unit."

"The apartment was in a horrible condition. We saw soiled carpet, no furniture at all. No bedding, no blankets that we could see. We saw roaches and flies and a very bad condition for anyone to live in," Gonzalez said last Wednesday.

The three boys were taken to the hospital and appeared "malnourished and showed signs of physical injury."

Kendrick's death was determined by the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office to be a homicide with multiple blunt force injuries.

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Williams told investigators she didn't report her son's death because Coulter told her not to, saying she was afraid of him, police have said.

"This mother had a year to contact law enforcement so you can't tell me that for every minute for a year you were afraid," Lt. Dennis Wilford said at a press conference Wednesday, describing Coulter as "manipulative."

Although Williams didn't physically abuse her children, Wilford said she shouldn't get a pass.

"I would say they are both an abuser," Wilford told reporters. "He's an abuser physically, and she's an abuser by omission."

Both Coulter and Williams remain behind bars. Their attorneys could not be reached for comment Tuesday. They have not yet entered pleas.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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