Police vehicles

Tampa Police Charge Mother With Murder in Death of 4-Year-Old


TAMPA, FL. (July 2, 2024) -- Tampa Police arrested 36-year-old Arayiah Hudson (black female, 10/21/1987), and charged her in the murder of her four-year-old son, Joseph Hudson. 

"This is a heinous crime. Every child deserves to feel safe in their own home and especially with their own mother,” said Chief Lee Bercaw. “The Tampa Police Department is committed to bringing justice for Joseph and ensuring the safety of all children in our community."

On June 29th, 2024, at 4:37 am, Tampa Police Officers responded to a 911 call at a home in the 8400 block of N. 15th St. The caller, Joseph's mother, Arayiah Hudson, reported that her son was unresponsive. Officers arrived within minutes and provided CPR. Tragically, Joseph was later pronounced deceased at a nearby hospital.

According to initial reports from Hudson, Joseph began coughing and having difficulty breathing after eating potato chips and drinking water. However, the investigation quickly shifted when detectives found evidence revealing a potential history of abuse.

A medical examination of Joseph's body found numerous injuries, including bruises, abrasions, and internal bleeding. The autopsy concluded the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head and torso. Further investigation revealed that Hudson attempted to conceal the abuse by claiming to discipline Joseph and using tinted makeup to cover bruises around his eyes.

On July 1, 2024, just before 7:30 pm, Hudson was arrested at her home and charged with Murder in the First Degree While Engaged in Aggravated Child Abuse. She was transported to Orient Road Jail. Joseph’s siblings were united with their biological fathers, who did not reside at the home.

If you suspect a child is being abused: 

Report it immediately. Contact your local law enforcement agency or child protective services. If you believe the child is in imminent danger, call 911!

Document. This could include specific observations of injuries, neglect, or the child's behavior. Dates, times, and any additional witnesses are all helpful information for investigators.

Be prepared to answer questions. Investigators will need details about the child, the situation, and why you suspect abuse.

Do not confront the suspected abuser. This could put yourself, or the child, at risk.

Additional resources include:

The Florida Department of Children and Families Abuse Hotline

The National Child Abuse Hotline: