Report: Autopsy says boy was murdered

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 14, 2003

VIDALIA &045; In a case in which different reports have pointed to different conclusions, Adams County Coroner James Lee now says an autopsy report has ruled a 5-year-old boy’s November death a murder.

Lee, who refused to respond to calls Friday, reportedly said Thursday that a final autopsy report, performed by Dr. Steven Haynes, a Mississippi forensic pathologist, found Eric Hudson had been sexually molested and murdered.

Concordia Parish Sheriff Randy Maxwell said earlier this month that it was possible that the Nov. 9 death was accidental. Maxwell also said there was no evidence the boy had been molested.

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Eric Hudson was found in the pond behind the family’s house in Vidalia. His mother, Rachel Hudson, said he was out of her sight only for about 15 minutes before she found him facedown in the water. He was taken to Natchez Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead.

The new report marks the fourth time the family has been told something different about their son’s death. Initially, the death was ruled an accident. On the day of Eric’s funeral, the family was told reports showed he had been murdered. Then, earlier this month, came the sheriff’s department’s assessment that it’s possible the death was an accident.

Lee initially told investigators that the boy’s cause of death was strangulation, not drowning. Lee received the autopsy report Thursday from Haynes.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Kathleen Stevens said Thursday the department had no comment.