A Florida woman allegedly shot and killed her two children before killing herself in an apparent murder-suicide after losing custody of her son, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Brandy Hutchins is accused of shooting her 10-year-old son, Aiden, and 19-year-old daughter before turning the gun on herself inside the family’s mobile home in Lake Wales.
The incident took place after a judge ordered her to surrender Aiden to his father who lives in Maine. Hutchins’ daughter had a different father and was not involved in the custody battle.
Hutchins’ ex-husband was in Florida to appear in court with her because she did not appropriately turn over custody of their son. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said she was instructed to give up custody of him by 6 p.m. but failed to show up for the appointment.
The sheriff’s office learned that Hutchins violated the court order and deputies worked through the weekend to locate the boy.
Deputies arrived at the home Sunday afternoon and found the bodies of the boy, his half-sister and his mother.
Judd said the sheriff’s office’s investigation indicates Hutchins “has murdered her 10-year-old child and her 19-year-old child — murdered them and then subsequent to that, she shot herself.”
“I can’t imagine a more horrific set of circumstances,” Judd added.
The sheriff said Hutchins had no criminal history or indication of potential violence.
The boy’s father addressed his son’s death Sunday on Facebook:
“It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this to give everyone an update about my son Aiden Hutchins who was taken by his mother on August 25, 2023 who decided to murder him,” he wrote. “He was killed by her today, August 27, 2023. He will forever be in my heart and did not deserve this.”
Judd said the sheriff’s office deals with many court orders but rarely sees an incident like this. He also offered his condolences to the family.
“My heart breaks for all of the family,” Judd said. “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.