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Husband charged in death of missing Connecticut mom hours after her body was found


(SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn.) — Hours after police found the body of a missing Connecticut mother, her husband was arrested and charged in connection with her death.

Jessica Edwards, 30, was reported missing by her family on May 10, police said, a day after celebrating her first Mother’s Day. Her family had “grave concern” for her well-being, the South Windsor Police Department said, as there continued to be no sign of her days into the investigation.

After a nearly two-week search, the South Windsor Police Department announced Friday evening that they had found her body earlier that day in the entrance to the Hockanum River Linear Park in East Hartford. There wasn’t a person of interest at the time, Sgt. Mark Cleverdon said during a press briefing, though they expected to have another update later that night.

A few hours later, the department announced they had arrested Edwards’ husband, Tahj Hutchinson, 22, in connection with her death.

He has been charged with first-degree manslaughter, though additional charges may be filed pending the autopsy results and completion of the investigation, police said.

Hutchinson was taken into custody Friday at 9 p.m. and is being held on a $1 million bond. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday. It is unclear whether Hutchinson has an attorney.

Police searched several cars and Edwards’ South Windsor condo before their investigation led them to the park. Cleverdon said cellphone location data obtained through a search warrant brought them to the area where they found Edwards’ body, though wouldn’t confirm who that information was related to.

There was “significant decomposition,” but police were able to confirm it to be Edwards’, he said.

Edwards’ family reported her missing to the South Windsor Police Department, and her husband reported her missing to the East Hartford Police Department, Cleverdon said.
A Missing person poster released by family shows Jessica Edwards of South Windsor, Ct.
Her husband reportedly told police Edwards was last seen getting into another person’s car, though Cleverdon said Friday that “we don’t believe that’s actually what happened.”

“We had very much an open timeframe that we were dealing with and we had to try to put a lot together,” Cleverdon said. “Day by day, we were able to get a little closer to establishing a foundation. It certainly wasn’t an overnight a-ha moment. A lot of it had to do with obtaining information and following up with search warrants.”

Edwards’ family has asked for privacy at this time, police said.

In the days since she was reported missing, her family has organized searches in communities surrounding South Windsor.

Edwards, a Manchester Community College student, leaves behind a 7-month-old baby who is currently with family, police said.

Her sister, Yanique Edwards, told ABC News New Haven affiliate WTNH she knew something was wrong because the new mother “is not going to leave her child.”

“Jessica was the kindest person I’ve ever met in my whole life,” Yanique Edwards told the station last week. “She is someone that would honestly go as far as she can to make you happy. … I want my sister back.”

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