Husband arrested after body of missing Connecticut mom found
Tahj Hutchinson was arrested and charged with manslaughter after Jessica Edwards' body was found in a wooded area Friday.
When Jessica Edwards, 30, went missing in South Windsor, Connecticut on May 10, her husband and family reported it to the police. The mother of a 7-month-old boy, Edwards reportedly got into a vehicle and left home at 7 a.m., according to her husband.
South Windsor Police believe that is not at all what happened.
On Friday, Edwards’ husband, Tahj Hutchinson, 22, was arrested and charged with manslaughter after her body was found in a wooded area in East Hartford early that morning.
The Connecticut Office of the Chief State’s Medical Examiner found Edwards’ cause of death as asphyxia due to compression of the torso and neck and ruled it a homicide.
South Windsor Police Sgt. Mark Cleverdon said that Hutchinson admitted to being involved in his wife’s death, but declined to release further details. He did say her cell phone’s location data helped police locate her body.
“Obviously, there was significant decomposition as a result of being there from the timeframe that we believe she went missing. We’re looking into all that, and we’ll have a better idea once the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner provides the autopsy and gives us a cause of death, which is still pending,” Cleverdon said earlier this week.
Authorities released a tweet of the suspect’s mugshot Saturday, writing: “Attached is the Mugshot for Tahj Hutchinson, accused in connection with the death of Jessica Edwards. More updates will be provided next week after conclusion of the autopsy. He is still being held on a million dollar bond.”
After his first appearance in court this week, Hutchinson’s bond was increased to $1.5 million, and he was ordered to have no contact with Edwards’ family.
According to a local report, court documents show Hutchinson confessed to killing Edwards in a fight that turned violent over his purchase of three guinea pigs as Mother’s Day gifts for her. He reportedly told investigators an argument between the two turned physical that evening, with them wrestling on the ground for a kitchen knife.
According to Hutchinson, he pinned her to the ground, eventually flipping her on her stomach and kneeling on her back and neck. He reported that she stopped moving, and he realized that she was dead. He then left her body in their apartment for a day while her family called looking for her.
The report notes that as Edwards’ family arrived, he sped off in his Jeep. They believe he had her corpse inside.
Edwards’ family is still gripped by grief. Cleverdon said the last time they saw her was the evening of May 9, her very first Mother’s Day. “We feel for them, and there’s no other way to put that,” Cleverdon said. “They are grieving right now, and they miss their daughter, their sister, greatly.”
Edwards, a student at Manchester Community College, was reported missing after failing to attend a clinical class at Hartford Hospital.
A GoFundMe account has been set up by her family to pay for her unexpected memorial services and as a trust for her infant son.