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Police: Woman kept mother’s decomposing body for months ‘to see stages of death’

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Posted at 3:52 AM, Sep 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-26 23:57:13-04

ENFIELD, NC (WRAL/CNN) - An elderly woman has finally been laid to rest and her daughter has been charged after the daughter allegedly didn’t tell anyone her mother died and instead kept the body in her home for months.

Donna Hudgins, 69, was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony concealment of death. She is no longer in custody but is due in court Nov. 7.

Police discovered the badly decomposed body of Donna Hudgins’ 93-year-old mother Nellie Hudgins in the family’s Enfield, NC, home during a welfare check.

The case began when Donna Hudgins went to a funeral home, saying her mother had died but she didn’t know where EMS took the body. When the funeral home could not locate Nellie Hudgins’ body, they called police.

Police say Donna Hudgins kept the body in the home for several months before telling family members about her mother’s death. She told police she didn’t report the death “because she was curious and wanted to see the stages of death,” according to a Facebook post by Chief Tyree Davis.

Kenny Velasquez, who is separated from Nellie Hudgins’ granddaughter, says family members had tried to see their loved one, but Donna Hudgins always made excuses.

"She would meet us at the door, say she’s asleep or something like that, and apparently, every time someone would call, the same thing [happened],” Velasquez said.

Velasquez believes Donna Hudgins is in need of mental health treatment, and he hopes she’ll be able to get it.

Nellie Hudgins was laid to rest in Enfield’s Elmwood Cemetery two weeks ago. Police have not disclosed her cause of death.

Copyright 2018 WRAL, Enfield Police Department via CNN. All rights reserved.