A 33-year-old man is accused of killing six people at a rural campsite in Anderson County, Texas, police say.
William Mitchell Hudson was arrested Sunday, according to KYTX. Police said they found two of the victims, a man and a woman, in a trailer at the camp site near Hudson’s land. Four other men were found dead in a pond on Hudson’s property.
Hudson is being held on one count of murder. The killings occurred outside of Palestine in East Texas.
Four of victims have been identified as Carl Johnson, Hannah Johnson, Thomas Kamp and Kade Johnson, KYTX reports. Hannah Johnson, 40, and Thomas Kamp, 46, were dating, and Carl Johnson, 76, was Hannah’s father. Kade Johnson was Hannah’s 6-year-old son. Thomas Kamp’s two oldest children were also killed, but have not yet been identified. Carl Johnson’s wife, Cynthia, was injured, but escaped before she was killed.
Kamp owns the land where the victims were camping, which is next to Hudson’s property.
Police have not yet said how the victims were killed. According to Fox 4 News, police said the two victims in the trailer were possibly shooting victims. Autopsies are being completed on all the victims to determine how they died.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Lone Survivor Hid From Hudson & Escaped From His Land, Police Say
Cynthia Johnson, 63, was able to hide from Hudson and escaped from his vast property, Fox 4 News reports.
Johnson then was able to call 911 at about 7 a.m. Sunday morning. The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office said they went to the property and found Carl and Hannah Johnson dead in the trailer. They then realized there were four people unaccounted for, Kamp, Kade Johnson and the two unidentified children. After a search of the property, they were found dead in a pond.
Cynthia Johnson was injured in the incident, but police did not specifically say how she was wounded.
2. The Sheriff Said Hudson Was ‘Violent, But It Wasn’t of This Nature’
Hudson was arrested in the past few weeks on an assault charge, police told KLTV.
“We handled him for assault within the last few weeks,” Sheriff Greg Taylor said at a press conference. “He was violent, but it wasn’t of this nature.”
The sheriff’s office said Hudson was “passive resistant” and wouldn’t come out of his house when they arrived to arrest him. He then got a call from his mother or another relative and decided to surrender to the sheriff peacefully.
A former classmate, who did not reveal her name told KLTV that she knows Hudson as being violent and verbally abusive.
“I was shocked at first, and then at the same time it didn’t surprise me. I’ve seen violence, anger…lots of anger, verbally abusive. And it wasn’t just verbal abuse towards women, it was towards both men and women,” the woman told the news station, adding that he became more violent after his father died of cancer in December.”I know that that affected him greatly. I know that he started drinking heavily after that, and anger just progressed and got worse.”
She said Hudson has a daughter, and his mother also lives on the same property.
3. Hudson Had Earlier Befriended the Victims
Police said Hudson was not related to any of the victims, KYTX reports. He lived on a large property located next to the land owned by Kamp and Hannah Johnson.
Hudson is not cooperating with the investigation, the news station reports. He is believed to have acted alone.
According to CBS News, the sheriff said Hudson had befriended the victims and helped them dislodge a truck from the mud when it got stuck.
“One of the vehicles became stuck and he pulled them out and they gathered around the camp and hung out together,” Sheriff Greg Taylor said.
Hudson’s family reportedly owned the property that was purchased recently by Kamp and Johnson before it was sold to them. The sheriff said they likely bought the land for camping.
“It was 56, 57 acres in which, I mean, we all grew up, tons of us, during school on 4-wheelers and what not on all of that. You know, the pond and everything. Maybe they were trespassing where he did not want them on his father and mother’s land, and maybe it just, you know, that was it for him,” Hudson’s former classmate told KLTV.
4. Hannah Johnson Moved to Texas to Be Closer to Her Parents After They Retired There
Carl and Cynthia Johnson relocated to Texas from Maine after retiring, the Franklin Sun Journal reports. Their daughter, Hannah Johnson, also moved to Texas to be closer to her parents.
The elder Johnsons both worked at the University of Maine in Farmington, according to the Sun Journal. Erik Johnson, the couple’s son and Hannah’s brother, flew to Texas to be with his mother, the newspaper reports.
The land where the killings occurred was recently purchased by Kamp and Johnson, who live in Midlothian, Texas, about 100 miles away, the Sun Journal reports.
Kamp is originally from California.
5. Hudson Is Being Held on $2.5 Million Bail & More Charges Are Expected
Hudson is being held on $2.5 million bail.
The sheriff’s office said they expect to file additional charges against him as the investigation continues.
The crime scene is spread out over several acres of land and police said they expect to be on scene for another day or two.