Mother abused 4-year-old boy and hid his bruises with makeup before he died

TAMPA, FL – A tragic case unfolded in Tampa, Florida, where a mother has been arrested on charges of murdering her young son. Tampa police reported they received an emergency call early Saturday morning from Arayia Hudson, 36, claiming her 4-year-old son, Joseph Hudson, was unresponsive.

Upon arrival, police officers desperately attempted resuscitation efforts on the young boy before rushing him to the hospital, where he was tragically pronounced dead. During the initial investigation, Hudson suggested her son began choking after eating potato chips and drinking water. However, the subsequent medical examination painted a harrowing picture of the abuse the child had suffered.

The ensuing autopsy revealed Joseph had sustained blunt force trauma to the head and torso, as well as multiple bruises, abrasions, and signs of internal bleeding. It was discovered that Hudson had gone to lengths to cover up the abuse, using makeup to hide the bruises around her son’s eyes and attributing the injuries to discipline.

Further questioning led to alarming revelations from Hudson’s two other children, a 9-year-old and a 14-year-old. The 9-year-old boy provided a shocking account of the abuse, stating that his mother had kicked Joseph in the stomach and forcefully pushed his head against a wall on numerous occasions, causing the child to nearly lose consciousness.

This child’s testimony, heartbreakingly tempered by his wish to protect his mother from arrest, detailed regular and severe mistreatment of his younger brother, including being struck with a shoe. The autopsy corroborated these claims, highlighting extensive trauma consistent with violent impacts, including a swollen brain, a lacerated liver, and contusions along the intestines.

Tampa Police Department Chief Lee Bercaw issued a statement condemning the vicious act, asserting that every child deserves to feel safe at home, particularly with their mother. The Department pledged to seek justice for Joseph and emphasized its dedication to safeguarding the community’s children.

Hudson was taken into custody on charges of first-degree murder while engaging in aggravated child abuse. The authorities have placed her two surviving sons under the care of their biological fathers, who were not residing with Hudson.