Connecticut Husband Admits to Killing His Wife and Mother of His Child After Argument, Police Say
Tahj Hutchinson said he purchased guinea pigs for his wife as a Mother's Day gift. He said she was upset about the gift and they fought over the purchase.
The body of a Connecticut mother who went missing the day after Mother’s Day has been found decomposing in a wooded area and her husband has now confessed to the gruesome killing, police said.
On Friday, Tahj Hutchinson, 22, was arrested on a manslaughter charge in the first degree for the death of Jessica Edwards, 30, this wife and the mother of their 7-month-old baby boy. At his arraignment on Monday in Superior Court, Hutchinson’s bail was increased to $1.5 million dollar bond, South Windsor police said.
South Windsor Police Sgt. Mark Cleverdon told Inside Edition Digital that once the medical examiner’s full report is complete and other pieces of evidence are collected, Hutchinson's charge of manslaughter in the first degree could be upgraded to murder, according to the decision of the State’s Attorney’s Officer in Hartford.
On Friday, Edwards' body was found in the entrance to the Hockanum River Linear Park in East Hartford after nearly a two-week search.
Cleverdon said Edwards' body showed some “significant decomposition.” He said the initial autopsy that was completed Saturday revealed that Edwards died from asphyxia and compression to the torso and neck and her death has been ruled a homicide.
On May 10, the new mother was reported missing by Edwards' husband and family, police said.
Initially, Hutchinson reportedly told police that he had last seen his wife around 7 a.m. on May 10. He told police Edwards had gotten into another person’s vehicle.
"We don’t believe that’s what actually happened,” Cleverdon said, according to multiple reports.
Police searched several cars and the couple’s South Windsor condo. Cellphone-location data obtained through a search warrant brought them to the area where they found Edwards' body, a report said.
Hutchinson allegedly confessed to killing his wife during a fight that turned violent, according to the arrest affidavit.
Hours before her death, Edwards had spent time with her family before returning to their condo later that evening.
In the affidavit, Hutchinson said he purchased guinea pigs for his wife as a Mother's Day gift. He said she was upset about the gift and they fought over the purchase.
According to the court documents, Hutchinson said the fight became physical and the two ended up wresting on the ground with a kitchen knife. Hutchinson said he pinned her to the ground, eventually flipping her on her stomach and kneeling on her back and neck.
He said that Edwards eventually stopped moving and he got up and tended to his son. He said when he came back a short time later Edwards was still not moving and did not respond to him. At that point, he said, he realized she was not alive.
The affidavit said Hutchinson left Edwards on the floor for the day and took care of his son. He said later that night he backed his Jeep up to his door, loaded Edwards' body in the rear of it, and left when the family came over.
He said he drove to a "random GPS" location on his way to East Hartford Police Department, stopped and dragged Edwards' body into the wooded area, and then went to the police in East Hartford to report his wife missing. He said his shoes were covered in mud, so he took them off before going to the police department.
Edwards, a Manchester Community College student, was studying respiratory therapy and was set to graduate in June.
The baby is in the care of Edwards' family.
Yanique Edwards told the news station that she sensed something wasn’t right. She described her sister as a “loving caring mother” who was very attentive to her baby boy and “would never leave him.”
"Jessica was the kindest person,” Edwards told ABC News. “I want my sister back.”
Hutchinson's attorney, Russ Williams, a public defender asked for lower bail, according to the CT Post. He said that Hutchinson had no criminal record and has a full-time job at Aldi’s Warehouse in South Windsor, the Post reported.
Hutchinson's next court appearance is scheduled for June 1.
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