Texas woman charged in death of boy whose body was found on side of Maine road

A Texas woman was arrested in Massachusetts following accusations that she killed her young son, whose body was found along a dirt road in Maine, prosecutors said late Wednesday.

Boys Roadside Body
Charles Krupa

A woman is escorted by emergency workers from the Mass. State Police barracks in Concord, Mass., Wednesday, May 18, 2011. Police in Massachusetts on Wednesday were questioning a woman in the investigation of a young boy whose body was found along a dirt road in Maine. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


Camden Pierce Hughes

Boys Roadside Body

This 2005 booking photo provided by the Dallas County Jail shows Julianne McCrery of Irving, Texas. A pickup truck registered to McCrery was towed from a rest stop in Chelmsford, Mass., where earlier police took a woman for questioning in the investigation of a boy whose body was found along a dirt road in Maine last weekend. (AP Photo/Dallas County Jail)

Boys Roadside Body

This computer generated image released by the Maine State Police Sunday, May 15, 2011, shows the likeness of a young boy found dead along a remote road in South Berwick, Maine, Saturday afternoon, May 14, 2011. The boy is believed to have been between 4 and 6 years old, less than 4-feet tall and about 45 pounds with dirty blond hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a gray camouflage hooded sweat shirt with the brand name "Faded Glory," tan pants, and "Lightning McQueen" black sneakers. There were no missing-person reports filed for a boy fitting the description, and state police appealed to the public to help identify him. (AP Photo/Maine State Police)

The New Hampshire attorney general’s office said 42-year-old Julianne McCrery of Irving, Texas, was arrested Wednesday on a fugitive-of-justice charge from Concord, Mass.

That occurred after prosecutors issued an arrest warrant on a second-degree murder charge in the death of Camden Hughes, 6, in Hampton, N.H., on Saturday.

Prosecutors said preliminary autopsy results show the cause of Camden’s death is asphyxiation.

Massachusetts state police took McCrery into custody at a highway rest stop, where she was found inside her pickup truck Wednesday.

McCrery is expected to be arraigned Thursday in Concord District Court. The voicemail was full for a phone listing for McCrery.

The 6-year-old’s body was found off a secluded road in South Berwick on Saturday.

Sources told CBS station WBZ that his mother, Juli McCrery, confessed to giving her son an overdose of cough syrup that resulted in his death.

Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio would not give many details during a Wednesday afternoon press conference. He said Massachusetts state police received a call and went to the southbound rest area on Interstate 495 about 10:20 a.m. The woman was taken by ambulance to a hospital for medical evaluation.

He said the case will be handled by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.

New Hampshire State Police spent Wednesday at the Stone Gable Inn, but it’s not clear what they were looking for, WMUR 9 TV in New Hampshire reported.

The parking lot to the inn was taped off while agents conducted their search. The attorney general’s office did not confirm whether the search was in relation to Camden’s death, according to the Manchester TV station.

Local motel owners in the area said detectives were asking them about the case earlier in the day.

“It was really upsetting to find out there was a little boy — that he could have died here. You never know,” Hampton resident Larry Regan told WMUR.

Regan said he has lived at the motel for the past two months and that most of the people staying there have been long-term residents.

He said that’s why he took notice when he saw McCrery check in. Regan said she only stayed for one night.

“She was irate. She was angry and very disheveled. Her hair was all messed up and things like that,” Regan told the TV station.

He said he never saw Camden but heard McCrery yelling at him as he passed by her room last week.

“(She was) just yelling. Typical screaming of a parent that was irate,” Regan told WMUR.

A Julianne McCrery of Texas is listed as a self-published author, issuing “Good Night, Sleep Tight: How to Fall Asleep and Go Back to Sleep When You Wake Up.” McCrery’s author page on Amazon.com, written in 2009, states: “Julianne McCrery was born in San Jose, Ca. in 1969.

She has made her home Dallas, Texas, since the early ’80s. She enjoys two sons, one who serves in the U.S. Navy and the other one much younger aged three and a half years. Driving a school bus and then somehow graduating to a cement mixer certainly gave her character beyond her years, and a definite need for a good night’s sleep!”

A 2009 YouTube video features a 30-second review of her book. The speaker is not shown. Five other videos on the same channel show family videos of a young boy bearing a striking resemblance to the computer image of the dead boy released by Maine State Police.

One video shows a boy on a tricycle, stating, “Camden trying out his new chopper!”

The boy was found dead on Saturday in South Berwick, near the New Hampshire border. No one had come forward to identify him.

The case broke on Wednesday morning. State Police confiscated a truck in the rest area on Interstate 495 southbound on Wednesday morning that fits the description of a vehicle sought in connection with the death.

The truck found was a blue four-door Toyota pickup truck with Texas license plates, with a license frame bearing the words “Navy Mom,” and “U.S. Navy.” A witness had told Maine police about a blue pickup truck believed driven by a woman was seen near where the child’s body, and may have had a Navy insignia. Based on the insignia, investigators from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service were visiting military installations in the Northeast.

Christian von Atzigen, of Irving, Texas, said he told police he recognized the son of Julianne McCrery, a woman he and his wife have been close friends with for 15 years.

“We didn’t want to believe it,” von Atzigen said.

“Julie’s a good person. If you would ever ask me if she would harm a hair on that precious little boy’s head, I would say never,” he told The Associated Press. “She loves that boy.”

Von Atzigen said Camden was a happy little boy, and he never heard McCrery even raise her voice to him.

“I never even saw her discipline him,” he said. “He was just a great little boy, just fun, a good kid, smart as a whip,” he said.

Von Atzigen said he last saw McCrery on Easter, when she came to his house to get a part to fix her hot water heater. While she was there, she dropped off some of her son Camden’s toys for his 2-year-old son, he said.

He said he doesn’t know why McCrery was in Maine.

“My wife talked to her a couple of days ago and everything seemed OK,” he said. “There was no mention of her going anywhere,” he said.

Investigators have fielded more than 200 tips since the boy’s body was found. Police also conducted DNA tests on the body, released a detailed photo of the boy’s sneakers and notified Interpol.

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Kim Berry's picture

empathic, tradgedy....

.......well ok, I have read people saying that they think she killed him on purpose, that the mother didnt want her child anymore, that she loved her child & would never hurt a hair on his head etc... So no one can seem to agree on any of those things.

I got from te published info, that this Mom was stressed out during the last 24 hours before the death. She was overheard screaming at her child. Some one also stated that she and her son were seen by ER doc's for an illness. Why did THEY not see her mental condition as being unstable,and unable to care for her sick son?

I can tell you from personal experience that a sick child can be overwhelming and stressful at times, but to not ask for help, or to not go get help is rediculous! I have been there. I have made a call, asked a friend to come over and lend me a hand, when I was stressed out.

My questions are this :
Why was she so far up north? Why did she not call 911. An accidental overdose can be treated before fatality occurrs!

GOD help those who cannot find the light and reach out for help! If there is anyone reading this who is empathic, send prayers and healing energy and light with your thoughts of this young boy, as well as sending them to his friends & family who are in anguish & sorrow now.

My prayers have been with this little guy from the beginning. He did not know why this has happened to him. He has since been encouraged that he IS a good boy, & that it is not his fault, that he is very much loved, & wont be sick anymore, but will be safe from now on. His guardian angels have been with him & have lead him to a place where no one will "be mad" at him anymore.

 's picture


With so many alternatives available to people, who no longer want their children, this is the worst. Anyone not wanting to keep their child, just let child protective services know, your pastor know, the police know, drop a child off at the hospital. Let someone know.

 's picture

As a mother, I will not

Cheer if she is put to death. This is a terrible tragedy. I do not pretend to condone what this woman did.
However, before we run out and stone her, I will take a deep breath. I do not know all the details. If she is not mentally ill, the self-inflicted torture she will have to live with is far worse than anything we could do to her.
HOLD on... I did not say that we should not, as a society, hold her accountable, Oh, Yes, we should. Justice, when all the details are assembled regarding the murder of this child, should be immediate and administered appropriate to the severity of this crime.
I just cannot find it in myself to celebrate anyone's death. It diminishes me, my soul, takes from my life source. Do I believe that OBL being dead is the right thing? Yes, with no doubt. However, I will not celebrate it. Adding more darkness to darkness, hate to hate, does not create light or love, rather just more hate and darkness.
I have learned that even when something is completely right, done for the right reasons, good outcomes are never assured.
Our justice system is flawed and I have seen many, many examples of it being broken.
A young, beautiful innocent child was killed at the hands of his own mother, allegedly. Justice is required here. It is tragic all the way around.
See the movie, Gone Baby Gone, to understand that justice, what is "right" can have bad results, I do not have the answer. I simply see and feel the horror and tragedy of the human condition- and sincerely hope that Justice prevails.

Jason Theriault's picture

A few things

I didn't cheer for Osama's death. I cheered for justice being served. That his wickedness was visited back upon him. Which is the same thing I want here. And she confessed, so lets not foll around with implying that she may not be guilty. And I don't care if she was mentally ill. Anyone who murders anyone is mentally ill.

One more thing. I'm not going into why I think this, because I think In can make a convincing, yet disturbing, argument based on the computer generated photo that she strangled him.

She is a monster. I don't care how sorry she is.

Fantastic investigative work!

Many thanks should go to all the people who worked on this case-just good solid police work on all of their parts. I'm sad that it happened at all, but at least the case is no longer a question of who did it,but why. That much we may never know, sad to say.

Jason Theriault's picture

I agree

I know how much this kid I never knew affected me, and I have to imagine that to those working this case it was much worse. Kudos and a heart felt thank you to the Maine State Police for their efforts.

Also - Kudos to everyone out there that worked to get the info out about the truck and whatnot. Sun Journal, The TV stations, internet people, everyone.

Sadie Roberts's picture

jason.. i didn't know that

jason.. i didn't know that about n.h. hay she deserves the same she did to that little angel.

Jason Theriault's picture

I take solace in one thing

That the last thing going through her mind will be a lethal dose of potassium chloride. She killed him in New Hampshire. New Hampshire is a death penalty state.

I will cheer like I did for Bin Landin when her time comes.

Denisa Laflamme's picture

Maybe Justice will be served

Well I am glad that NH is going to be handling this then because she deserves the death penalty, and I hope that she suffers the way he suffered...I just don't get it, if she couldn't handle being a mother then she should have taken him to a family member, friend, hospital or something anything but to end this child's life...I just cant understand it....


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