Woman Kept Mom's Decomposing Body at Home for Months 'To See the Stages of Death'

September 27, 2018
By: Catherine Townsend

Donna Sue Hudgins

Photo by: Enfield Police Department

Enfield Police Department

Donna Sue Hudgins

ENFIELD, NC — Police in North Carolina say that a woman kept her mother’s decomposing body at home for several months after she died because she “wanted to see the stages of death.”

Police say that 93-year-old Nellie Mae Hudgins died “several months ago” but that her daughter Donna Sue Hudgins, 69, did not tell anyone that her mother had passed away.

Instead they allege that the younger Hudgins, who lived with her mother, kept the body inside the house, reportedly because she wanted to observe it decompose.

Kenny Velasquez, who is separated from Nellie Hudgins’ granddaughter, said Donna Hudgins made excuses every time family members came to the house to see her mother.

Every time somebody would stop by, she would meet us at the door, say she’s asleep or something like that,” Velasquez told WRAL. He added that he believes Hudgins needs mental-health treatment.

Eventually, Enfield police say that Donna Hudgins went to a funeral home. She said that her mother had died, but claimed that she did not know where paramedics had taken the body. When the funeral home workers could not locate the body, police were called, and when they went to the residence they discovered the badly decomposed remains of Nellie Hudgins. Police did not say how she died, and have referred all calls to the District Attorney’s office.

Some neighbors noted that they had noticed a bad smell around the property, but told the news station that they believed it could have been the “sewer” or “roadkill.”

The body of Nellie Hudgins was finally buried in Enfield’s Elmwood Cemetery.

Donna Hudgins was charged with felony concealment of death. She is reportedly out on a $5,000 bond, and is due back in court on November 7.

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