Authorities arrested a North Carolina woman on Tuesday after it was discovered that she had been living with her dead mother’s decomposing body for months.
Donna Sue Hudgins was charged with concealment of her 93-year-old mother’s death, a felony that could put her in jail.
The Enfield Police Department Facebook page said that the 69-year-old Hudgins went to a funeral home to make funeral arrangements. She said that her mother, Nellie Mae Hudgins, passed away in the morning but she did not know where the EMA took the body.
After a failed attempt to find the body, the funeral home became concerned and contacted the police.
Police officers went to the dead woman’s home and were able to communicate with Hudgins, who was also living in the same house.
When the officers entered the house to do a welfare check, however, they discovered a badly decomposed body.
The investigation revealed that the old woman has been dead for a while. The body was in the house for several months before Hudgins notified family members of her mother’s death.
“Detective Willie Murphy Jr. and Detective Teo Antunez Jr. led the investigation and found that the deceased was in the home for several months before the daughter notified family members of their mothers passing,” the Enfield Police Department said in a statement.
The detectives who interviewed Hudgins said that the latter did not report the death because she claimed she was curious and wanted to see the stages of death.
Edna Burgess, a friend of Nellie for several years who also attended the funeral earlier this month, said that she assumed the old woman left to stay with another daughter when she did not see her in recent months. Burgess admitted that neighbors could smell an odor but they thought it to be something else.
“You wouldn’t think anything would happen like that to anybody, and especially your mother,” Burgess told CBS 17.
Family members also claimed Hudgins attempted to conceal her mother’s body.
“Every time somebody would stop by, she would meet us at the door, say she’s asleep or something like that,” Kenny Velasquez told WRAL-TV. “Apparently every time someone would call, same thing.”
Velasquez, who is separated from Nellie’s grandchild, said he hopes that Hudgins would receive mental health treatment.
Charges were filed after a consultation with the Halifax County assistant district attorney. Hudgins was given $5,000 bond and is set to make a court appearance on Nov. 7.