HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Three children and skeletal remains of another potential juvenile were found inside an abandoned Harris County apartment on Sunday.

Deputies performed a welfare check at an apartment complex west of Houston at 3:15 p.m. after a 15-year-old boy called and said his 9-year-old brother had been dead for a year and was in the next room, according to our NBC affiliate KPRC.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the ages of the three children found in the apartment were aged 15, 10 and 7. He said it appeared they had been there for months, maybe even a year. The 15-year-old told investigators their parents had not lived there in months.

“I haven’t been told they were necessarily locked in, but at that age, it appears they were basically fending for each other.”

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez

Gonzalez said the three children were malnourished and showed signs of injuries. They were all taken to local hospitals for treatment. Child Protective Services released the following statement:

“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.”