CONCORD, N.H. — The grandmother of the little boy found dead along a dirt road in Maine says she’s heartbroken over what happened to the bright child who liked to practice writing his letters and kick a football and soccer ball in the backyard.
“Camden and I share the same birthday on March 15th, and my birthday will never be the same again,” LuRae McCrery of Curtis, Neb., said in a letter sent to several media outlets. “It seems like a very bad nightmare from which I will never wake up.”
McCrery’s daughter Julianne McCrery was ordered held without bail Thursday on second-degree murder charges in New Hampshire. She’s accused of killing her son, 6-year-old Camden Hughes, in Hampton, N.H., on Saturday, the same day his body was found in South Berwick, Maine. Preliminary autopsy findings showed he died of asphyxiation.
Julianne McCrery, 42, of Irving, Texas, was detained Wednesday at a highway rest stop in Chelmsford, Mass., after police got a tip about her pickup truck, which matched a vehicle seen near the spot where the boy’s body was found covered with a blanket. Friends have described her as a loving but troubled mother, and a lawyer who represented her at a brief hearing in Massachusetts said based on his conversations with her, he thinks she traveled hundreds of miles from home with the idea of taking her son’s life and committing suicide.
Julianne’s other son, who’s in the Navy, said he spoke to his mother Saturday and said she seemed upset but told him she was OK. Ian McCrery expressed disbelief that his mother could’ve killed her son, telling WCVB-TV she was “one of the greatest moms ever.”
The Navy said Ian McCrery declined an interview request from The Associated Press.
School officials in Texas said the boy last attended kindergarten on May 6, and that his mother continued to call this week to report that he was ill. Meanwhile, the case was drawing national attention as the boy went unidentified for days. Residents of South Berwick held a candlelight vigil in his honor.
“It was very special of your city to remember someone that nobody ever knew,” LuRae McCrery wrote in her letter. “There are so many family and friends that are profoundly affected by this senseless loss of a little boy.”
On Friday, the sign outside the motel where McCrery and her son spent one night read, “God Bless Camden.”