Mom Charged With Death Of Newborn Hidden In Tote Bag

Affidavit: 25-Year-Old Westminster Woman Concealed Pregnancy

A 25-year-old mom has been charged in the death of her newborn infant whose body was found in a tote bag in the basement of her Westminster home in March.

An Adams County grand jury indicted Melinda Hudson last week for child abuse knowingly or recklessly causing death and child abuse negligently causing death, both felonies, according to court records.

She was also charged with concealing a body and abuse of a corpse, both misdemeanors.

Hudson was arrested July 21 by the Westminster police. She remains in Adams County jail on $100,000 bond, authorities said.

Adams County Coroner Jim Hibbard said an autopsy could not determine the cause and manner of death. But those rulings could change if investigators unearth new evidence and witness testimony, he added.

A coroner pathologist, Dr. Patrick Allen, told police he was unable to determine if the infant survived birth and somehow died later or was stillborn, according to a search warrant obtained by TheDenverChannel.com.

The male infant's body was decomposed and mummified, but still had part of the umbilical cord attached, the affidavit said.

Allen said his opinion was "the infant had died within a couple days of his birth," the affidavit said. He said the baby appeared to be either full-term or very close to full-term at the time of death.

"The only person who could tell us whether or not the child was alive would be mom," Hibbard said. "And I don't know that mom is doing any talking to anybody."

Hudson early on declined to give police a statement, invoking her constitutional right to an attorney, according to the May 12 search warrant affidavit.

Hudson, who lived with her parents, concealed her pregnancy and adamantly denied it when a stranger suggested she was pregnant, the affidavit said.

Then her father, Bernard Hudson, found the body wrapped in towels in a light blue zipper tot bag decorated with white hearts in the basement furnace room on March 10, according to the affidavit.

The father said when he confronted the daughter, she admitted the baby was hers and began to cry, the affidavit said. She told her father she had given birth a couple months earlier.

The morning the father made the discovery in the West 111th Circle home, he soon took his wife, daughter and son to the Westminster Police Department to report the death, the affidavit said.

As the distraught father spoke privately with a detective, he twice broken down in tears, the affidavit said.

The father said "one of two things" had happened to the infant, either it was "stillborn or died during childbirth" or "she had done something to it," the affidavit said. The father paused and then said "it was intentional."

But when the detective later questioned Bernard Hudson about his statement, the father said he didn't remember making the comment and "did not mean his daughter had done anything to the infant," the affidavit said.

Family members and the woman's boyfriend told detectives they did not know she was pregnant, the affidavit said.

"Bernard (Hudson) said Melinda had been gaining weight last year," the affidavit said. "He had asked her if she was pregnant, but she denied being pregnant."

The father recounted a 2009 incident where the family had seen the war drama, "The Hurt Locker," about male soldiers in an Army bomb squad unit.

As they family left the theater, another woman who presumed Hudson was pregnant said she "hoped it wasn't a boy," the affidavit said. Her father said "Melinda was offended and, again, denied being pregnant."

"Members of the Hudson family and (her boyfriend) told detectives Melinda had a history of concealing things from them," the affidavit said.

Her parents told police Melinda had been working at a local restaurant called Happy Sumo until she started a new job, the affidavit said.

But the woman's boyfriend told police Melinda had quit her job several months earlier, but continued to dress in her restaurant uniform when she left her parents' home, the affidavit said. The boyfriend said Melinda would call her parents when she was with him and tell them she was at work.

The boyfriend recalled that he and Melinda had gone a trip to New Jersey against her father's wishes, the affidavit said. The boyfriend said Melinda told him not to mention the trip to her parents.

The father said his wife and Melinda had not told him about incidents when her boyfriend was arrested for domestic violence last fall until long after they occurred, the affidavit said.

Her brother, Bernie Hudson, told police that Melinda had failed or done poorly in several college classes, but had altered her report card before showing it to her parents, the affidavit said.

"Bernie (Hudson) said Melinda did not want to disappoint her parents, and would either conceal or lie about specific incidents in order to prevent their discovery, many times knowing she was going to be caught," the affidavit said.

The boyfriend's family members also said Melinda had gained weight and was "heavy" in September 2009, the affidavit said. But when they saw Facebook photos of Melinda in a "skimpy costume" with her boyfriend at an Oct. 30, 2009, Halloween party, family members "saw Melinda had lost a lot of weight," the affidavit said.

Police obtained the warrant to search the woman's Facebook account for photos, videos, text postings and other information, the affidavit said.