Two people remain behind bars in connection with the death of 8-year-old Kendrick Lee, who was found deceased inside a Houston apartment earlier this week.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 35-year-old Gloria Y. Williams, identified as the child’s mother, was arrested Tuesday and charged with injury to a child by omission, failure to provide adequate supervision, and failure to provide medical care.
Williams’ boyfriend, Brian W. Coulter, 31, was also arrested Tuesday and charged with murder in connection with Kendrick’s death. Previous reports indicated that the boy was nine, but Harris County Sheriff, Ed Gonzalez said the child was eight and died at some point in 2020, ABC 7 reports.
On Wednesday, officials announced that the alleged killing happened around a week before Thanksgiving. Kendrick’s body was left decomposing for nearly a year.
“There aren’t many jobs in our agency that are tougher than those involving abused children,” Gonzalez said. “These cases are horrific, heartbreaking cases of abuse and neglect. And they involve the most innocent and defenseless among our community.”
According to police, Williams and Coulter lived in an apartment 15 minutes away from the children. At the time of their arrest, they were at a local library using the Internet to look themselves up.
Kendrick’s siblings, ages 15, 10, and 7, had been living alone for almost a year at the CityParc II at West Oaks Apartments. On Sunday, the 15-year-old called 911 and said his mother had left him there for months with his younger siblings. He also said his younger brother was dead inside a room at the apartment.
The teen told investigators that his little brother, Kendrick, died inside a bedroom at the apartment. He also said Coulter would lock him in his bedroom but he could hear Coulter beating on Williams.
“I believe it was absolute fear,” HCSO Lt. Dennis Wilford said, referring to the teen waiting months before calling for help.
“Over time, I believe that the beatings were consistent, mainly directed at the younger children, and the 15-year-old was absolutely afraid, basically, hoping and relying on his mother to at some point to contact law enforcement…and that didn’t happen.”
Police said the apartment was bare inside with no furniture. It also had roaches running amuck and the carpets were completely soiled.
Two of the children, Trevon, 10, and Ja’Veon, 7, told investigators that they witnessed Coulter kick and punch Kendrick in the back, face, legs, arms, and testicles lower until the child died. Coulter then put a blue blanket over Kendrick and left him in the bedroom, police said.
By the time police found Kendrick, he was skeletalized and had bugs crawling over his remains.
Williams said she tried to intervene during the assault after witnessing a portion of it. She claimed she didn’t call the police afterward because Coulter told her not to, and she was afraid of going to jail and losing custody of her children. Shortly after, the pair moved out of the apartment.
Investigators said the 10-year-old had an untreated jaw that had been injured weeks ago. Officials said Coulter visited the apartment around three weeks ago and punched Trevon. The boy is scheduled to undergo surgery.
The Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office said Kendrick died from “homicidal violence” and had numerous blunt force trauma injuries. A criminal complaint stated that on November 20, 2020, Coulter killed Kendrick by punching and kicking him to death.
Williams allegedly helped conceal the boy’s death, according to the criminal complaint. She’s also accused of starving one of her children.
“They [the children] were in there while the body was deteriorating,” Gonzalez said. The siblings “were fending for each other. … The 15-year-old was taking care of the others.”
A neighbor at the apartment complex noticed a smell coming from the children’s apartment, beginning about a year ago. She told ABC 7 that she believed the apartment was abandoned, and that she notified the building management multiple times about the odor.
The children were removed from the apartment and taken to a local hospital for medical checkups. They’re now in the custody of Child Protective Services.
“Child Protective Services is currently investigating alongside law enforcement to ensure the immediate safety of the children. The children are being evaluated at an area hospital and the Department of Family and Protective Services is seeking emergency custody of all three boys,” CPS said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Williams’ cousin, Yasmin Creag, told KHOU that she believed Kendrick was autistic, adding that the child was “mostly non-verbal.”
“Kendrick was autistic, to my knowledge. When he would come around our family, all he did was smile and be playful and laugh with you,” Creag said.
Family members offers to take Kendrick and raise him, according to Creag, but Williams reportedly refused when she was asked.
“My momma has been asking for Kendrick since the day he was born and she kept telling her no. We knew that with all of these kids, eventually, she was not going to be able to be the best parent she could be.”
Williams had a total of six children, including Kendrick, his three brothers and two older sisters. Along with Kendrick, one of the brothers is thought to have autism. Williams allegedly put kicked her oldest daughter out of the apartment a few years ago because Coulter and the girl were continuously getting into arguments.
The youngest daughter has been in the custody of her grandmother and was not living in the apartment.
Coulter was given a $1 million bond on Wednesday. He’s currently being held for observation at a mental health facility. Williams was given a bond of $90,000.
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[Featured Photo: Kendrick Lee/Facebook]