HOUSTON – The family of the woman accused of abandoning her three children and leaving another child dead in an apartment for nearly a year, is now speaking out.
“I have seen the news article about the kids. You know, when you see things like that, you think like ‘wow,’ you know. But I never thought it was her,” said Christie Smith, a cousin of the mother.
The mother of the children, 35-year-old Gloria Williams, has been charged with injury to a child and tampering with evidence. Williams’ 31-year-old boyfriend Brian Coulter is facing a murder charge for the death of the 8-year-old boy whose body was found inside the abandoned apartment.
Harris County deputies said the 8-year-old boy was beaten and his corpse was left to decompose for 11 months inside the apartment.
“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,” Gloria’s cousin Yasmin Creag said.
She added that the boy was mostly non-verbal. She also said a family offered to raise Kendrick when he was younger, but Gloria refused.
“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,” Creag said.
Family members said Gloria had a total of six children ranging in age from 7 to 17. Two of the four boys living in the abandoned apartment, including Kendrick, had autism. Gloria no longer had parental rights over her two girls, according to the relatives.
Melody Robinson, the grandmother of one of Gloria’s children, has full custody of the youngest daughter and said CPS told her they were going to take the rest of Gloria’s kids.
“Because Gloria gave up her rights to her and she failed the first child, they (CPS) would be going in to take the other four boys.
Robinson told KPRC 2 that Gloria put her oldest daughter out on the streets two years ago because of her boyfriend, Coulter. Robinson said the eldest daughter got into several altercations with Coulter, telling him not to touch her brother, which her mom didn’t like.
“The last time I have physically seen her is when we had Christmas over here in 2019. (It was him (Coulter) and all the kids,” said Gladys Smith, Gloria’s aunt.
The grandmother and cousins said Gloria was estranged from the family, very closed off, and only reached out for money.
“Every three to six months she has a new phone number,” said Creag. “Every three to six months she’s moving apartments, so we never have a solid address for her,”
They said the family could only do as much as Gloria would allow. They said whenever they would inquire about the kids, Gloria would say they were fine.
“She kept saying they’re ok, they’re in school. Anytime we did go help and ask, ‘Where the kids at?’ She would say, ‘Oh, they are in school.’ We never had an apartment number. She (would) always be like, ‘I’ll meet y’all at the front of the apartments.’ We didn’t think anything of it,” Creag added.
The relatives said they think Gloria was paying for the rent at the abandoned apartment with money she was receiving from the government.
“We factor she paid the rent with the disability checks that she gained from the kids, and that’s all we can figure,” Creag said.
Creag and all the relatives said they will fight for custody of Gloria’s surviving three boys. Right now, they’re hoping those children can heal from the trauma they’ve endured for months.
“They may never get over this,” Robinson said. “They need the therapy to get them through it.”
WATCH: Family describes their relationship with mother, 4 boys