A North Carolina woman is accused of keeping her 93-year-old mother’s dead body so she could watch it decompose.
Authorities said Tuesday Donna Sue Hudgins, 69, hid her mother’s body in their home in Enfield, not far from Raleigh, for several months before she told family members, friends or the funeral home her mother had died.
Hudgins told police the reason she did not tell anyone was because “she was curious and wanted to see the stages of death,” according to a statement from the Enfield Police Department.
Hudgins was arrested and charged with concealment of death, a felony. A spokeswoman with the Halifax County Detention Center said Wednesday Hudgins has since been released on bond.
It is not clear whether she has an attorney.
Hudgins’s mother, Nellie Mae Hudgins, from Nash County, N.C., died Sept. 7, according to her obituary. It states she “leaves behind to cherish her memory, daughters, Donna Sue Hudgins and Nellie ‘Bonnie’ S. Inscoe and husband, Donald.” Her funeral was scheduled for the following week, according to the obituary.
Although it is unclear when, authorities said it all came to light when Hudgins went to a funeral home to make arrangements.
Hudgins apparently told funeral home personnel she was not sure where the paramedics had taken her mother’s body and, when the personnel were not able to track it down, they called police, according to the statement from the Enfield Police Department.
Asked about the incident, Wheeler & Woodlief Funeral Home Director Kemp David said he could not disclose details but confirmed the funeral home made arrangements for the service and burial.
When authorities went to Hudgins’s home, they found “a badly decomposed body,” according to the statement from police.
Police said the body had been in the home for “several” months.
Kenny Velasquez, who is separated from Nellie Hudgins’s granddaughter, told NBC affiliate WRAL that when relatives tried to see or talk to the 93-year-old woman during that time, Hudgins would not allow it.
“Every time somebody would stop by,” he told the station, “she would meet us at the door, say she’s asleep or something like that. Apparently every time someone would call, same thing.”
Officials with the Enfield Police Department did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment from The Washington Post, but said in the statement they would not be providing further comment on the case.