A Florida mother killed her two children and then herself in an apparent murder-suicide after losing a custody battle.
Brandy Hutchins “from every indication in our investigation now, has murdered her 10-year-old child and her 19-year-old child. Murdered them,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press conference on Sunday. “And then subsequent to that, she shot herself.”
The murders of Hutchins’ 10-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter happened inside a mobile home over the weekend, just days after a judge ordered her to turn over custody of the boy to his father.
Sheriff Judd called the tragedy “absolutely devastating for everyone,” including his deputies who responded to the tragic scene on Friday.
Hutchins had been ordered to hand over the 10-year-old boy by 6pm Friday. He was later identified online by his father as Aiden Hutchins.
When Hutchins failed to comply with the order, a search was launched for the boy so his father could take him back to Maine.
On Sunday afternoon, police found the bodies of Hutchins and her two children inside a mobile home in the Waverly neighborhood of Lake Wales.
“We’re devastated for this beautiful 10-year-old child, all because mom did not want to turn the child over to the rightful father pursuant to a court order,” the sheriff said.
Aiden’s father shared a heartbreaking post after learning the news on Sunday.
“[i]t is with a heavy heart that I am writing this to give everyone an update about my son Aiden Hutchins who was missing and taken by his mother on August 25 2023 who decided to murder him.”
“[H]e was killed by her today August 27 2023. he will forever be in my heart and did not deserve this. Rest in peace my sweet boy I will see you again. I love you,” he said.
Sheriff Judd also noted at the press conference that there was no indication of possible violence as a result of this custody battle or any history of mental illness.
“There was no indication that there should be any violence, but it was violent,” Judd said. “This was a domestic event, a court-ordered event, where she had to turn custody over to the ex-husband and she wasn’t going to do that, so she murdered the 10-year-old. The 19-year-old daughter was there and [she] murdered her as well.”
“There was absolutely zero evidence in the court order or testimony that there was any violence or threat of violence or a danger,” Judd added.
The sheriff said that his office deals with “hundreds and thousands” of court orders, so for one to turn out like this has left them “heartbroken and devastated over this horrible, horrible event.”
“I can’t imagine a more horrific set of circumstances.”