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‘Absolutely devastating for everyone’: Florida mom murdered son and daughter in mobile home after losing custody battle

Aiden Hutchins, Brandy Hutchins

Aiden Hutchins pictured in an image posted by his father on Facebook; Brandy Hutchins in a driver’s license photo shared by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

A Florida mom murdered her 10-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter inside a mobile home over the weekend, days after a judge ordered her to turn over custody of the boy to his father.

Rather than doing as she was ordered in court, Brandy Hutchins ignored the Friday evening deadline, committed the murders, and then took her own life in a suspected double murder-suicide that Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd called “absolutely devastating for everyone,” including his deputies who responded to the tragic scene.

Judd spoke at press conference Sunday about the case that “started as a domestic event,” with an ex-husband and ex-wife battling over child custody of the 10-year-old son they shared.

The boy’s father has identified him online as Aiden Hutchins.

Last Thursday, the ex-husband came down from Maine to court because his ex-wife didn’t turn over custody of Aiden. Brandy Hutchins was ordered by a judge to hand over custody by 6 p.m. on Friday, Judd said.

Late Friday night, the sheriff said, investigators learned the court order was not complied with, and detectives worked over the weekend to find the 10-year-old boy so his father could take him back to the state of Maine.

Investigators pinged phones and friends pleaded for anyone who had seen Aiden to come forward. On Saturday afternoon, the boy’s father also posted online asking for help finding his son.

Around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, authorities received a call that led them to believe Brandy Hutchins was inside a mobile home with her son and 19-year-old daughter in the Waverly neighborhood of Lake Wales. Then investigators learned the horrific truth, Judd said.

Brandy Hutchins “from every indication in our investigation now, has murdered her 10-year-old child and her 19-year-old child. Murdered them,” Judd said. “And then subsequent to that, she shot herself.”

“We’re devastated for this beautiful 10-year-old child, all because mom did not want to turn the child over to the rightful father pursuant to a court order,” the sheriff added.

Aiden’s father posted Sunday afternoon that “[i]t is with a heavy heart that I am writing this to give everyone an update about my son Aiden Hutchins who was missing and taken by his mother on August 25 2023 who decided to murder him.”

“[H]e was killed by her today August 27 2023. he will forever be in my heart and did not deserve this. Rest in peace my sweet boy I will see you again. I love you,” he said.

As of Monday morning, the 19-year-old victim had not been identified, but the sheriff did say she had a different father.

Judd said that although there was a custody battle, there weren’t red flags that violence might occur, including no criminal history or mental health holds (“no history of Baker Acts,” as the sheriff put it.)

“There was no indication that there should be any violence, but it was violent,” Judd said. “This was a domestic event, a court-ordered event, where she had to turn custody over to the ex-husband and she wasn’t going to do that, so she murdered the 10-year-old. The 19-year-old daughter was there and [she] murdered her as well.”

“There was absolutely zero evidence in the court order or testimony that there was any violence or threat of violence or a danger,” Judd added, underscoring that point.

The sheriff said that his office deals with “hundreds and thousands” of court orders, so for one to turn out like this has left them “heartbroken and devastated over this horrible, horrible event.”

“I can’t imagine a more horrific set of circumstances,” Judd said.

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.