The mother and boyfriend of three children who were found in an abandoned Texas apartment with the decomposing corpse of their sibling were arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 26, for the murder of the 8-year-old and the abuse of his three brothers.

The three children were originally found after the eldest of the group, a 15-year-old boy, called the police to report their neglect as well as the death of their 8-year-old brother, whose corpse had been decomposing in a room for almost a year, according to a previous report.

Police have said that the 8-year-old was beaten to death by 31-year-old Brian Coulter, boyfriend of their 35-year-old mother Gloria Williams. Coulter reportedly mauled the 8-year-old to death sometime in November 2020, with Williams later finding the corpse hidden in a blanket, ABC News reported.

Two of the boys witnessed the murder as Coulter beat him repeatedly until he stopped moving, giving him black eyes in the process. Williams said that she did not report the abuse or the dead child because she did not want Child Protective Services to take away her surviving children.

The boys were then abandoned in the apartment while Coulter and Williams lived in a different apartment 25 minutes away. The place had no beddings or furniture, had cockroaches and fly infestations, and boys only received food from a neighbor, NBC Click2Houston reported.

Erica Chapman, the neighbor who noticed the neglect of the children, started giving them food to help them out. But they would only accept prepackaged meals, pizza, and fruit, which Chapman eagerly provided.

“I didn't want to push him away by asking questions because I knew he was starving and needed food,” she said.

“For many agency veterans, it was the most disturbing case they had worked in their entire law enforcement career,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said about the situation. “It seemed too horrific to be real.”

The children, who had not gone to school since May 2020, are now in the custody of Child Protective Services. Gonzalez hopes that they have a better and kinder future ahead of them.

“My prayer is that the remaining children find the love, the support, and the protection that they so desperately needed and deserved and that they have been missing for so long and I hope that their future is better than their past,” Gonzalez said.

Three surviving brothers, whose other sibling was killed by the boyfriend of their mother Brian Coulter, were found in an abusive situation after being abandoned by their parents for months. This is a representational image. UNSPLASH

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