The neighbor who lived nearby the three children who were found abandoned in their Houston-area apartment said she had no idea how bad the children’s home situation was after having contact with the eldest, a teen boy.
The two boys were living alone with the skeletal remains of their 9-year-old brother.
“Honestly I’m disgusted,” Erica Chapman said. “If I knew something was wrong with any of those kids, I would have took all of them.”
The oldest child, a 15-year-old boy, called 911 Sunday and said he and his two younger siblings, ages 10 and 7, had been living alone for months.
He also revealed how his 9-year-old brother died about a year earlier and his remains were still inside their West Harris County apartment. Chapman said she helped the teen after seeing him sleeping on a playground slide.
“I asked him if he was hungry. He said, ‘Yeah,’ and I brought him out some food and some drinks,” Chapman said.
She asked him a few questions but said he didn’t open up too much and so, she suspected something was wrong but also didn’t want to push the teen — as she was hoping he would tell her in time.
“He wouldn’t talk about his parents,” Chapman said. “I did not want him not come to me for food. If you’re that hungry, I want him to come to me because I at least knew he was eating.”
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez confirmed the skeletal remains of a child were discovered in the apartment. An autopsy will be performed to determine how the boy died.
In addition, the sheriff stated how the boys’ mother and her boyfriend were questioned but released without charges at the time. They have since been arrested.
Bryan W Coulter, the 32-year-old boyfriend of the dead child’s mother, was charged on Tuesday with murder. While the mother, Gloria Y Williams, 36, was charged with felony injury to a child by omission, failure to provide medical care and failure to provide adequate supervision, per authorities.
The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston, which conducts all autopsies in the county, listed the child’s primary cause of death as “homicidal violence with multiple blunt force injuries”.
Investigators have yet to say who had custody of the boys and have not revealed why no one at the apartment knew anything was wrong. Their investigation continues.
Children’s Protective Services is seeking emergency custody of all siblings and shockingly, there has been no prior investigation of the family.
In the interim, Chapman has a message for the 15-year-old: “That I love him and I would take him and his brothers … and that he needs to keep his head up. This ain’t his fault.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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