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Florida woman arrested after allegedly killing 4-year-old son, attempting to hide signs of child abuse

A Florida woman was arrested after being accused of killing her 4-year-old son and attempting to use makeup to conceal abuse inflicted on him.

Arayiah Hudson, 36, was taken into custody at her home Monday night in connection with the death of her son, Joseph, Tampa police said in a news release. She is charged with first-degree murder while engaged in aggravated child abuse.

Officers responded to a home in the 8400 block of N. 15th Street at about 4:30 a.m. on Saturday after Hudson called 911 to report that her son was unresponsive.

When they arrived at the home, officers conducted CPR on the child, but he was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

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Hudson initially claimed her son began coughing and having difficulty breathing after eating potato chips and drinking water, but detectives later discovered a potential history of child abuse.

A medical examination of Joseph’s body revealed numerous injuries, including bruises, abrasions and internal bleeding, police said, and an autopsy determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head and torso.

Detectives also learned that Hudson attempted to conceal the child abuse by using tinted makeup to cover bruises around his eyes, according to police. Hudson allegedly said she was disciplining her son.

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

Hudson was booked into the Orient Road Jail. 

Other children were removed from her home and taken to be with their biological fathers, who did not live with Hudson, police said.

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