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Putnam County Sheriff's Office says cold case solved after 7 years

Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach speaks at the cold case press conference. (Courtesy of Putnam County Sheriff’s Office)

On Monday, a grand jury indicted Lorenzo Hudson on first-degree murder charges for the death of a pregnant woman, Shaquierra Pickney, the Putnam County sheriff said during a press conference on Tuesday.

Pickney’s body was discovered in a Gethsemane Baptist Church Cemetery in East Palatka on Sept. 3, 2015, and was burned beyond recognition. During the autopsy, the examiners noticed that she was four months pregnant, and Pickney, 22, was a mother of two other children.

She was able to be identified with the help of photographs taken of her distinguishing tattoos taken by detectives, leading them to a missing persons case out of Volusia County.

“We had a missing person in Daytona Beach, then we discovered Ms. Pinckney’s remains in a remote cemetery here in Putnam," Sheriff Gator DeLoach said, "then her vehicle was found in St. Johns County. Despite attempts by the suspect to confuse detectives, we were determined to find justice for Ms. Pinckney, her unborn child and her family.”

Hudson, 42, is already incarcerated on a five-year prison stint for several burglary and grand theft charges. He is being held at the Okaloosa Work Camp, a low-security facility in Crestview He was due for release in December.

Hudson is now facing charges of capital felony murder, capital felony murder of an unborn child, second-degree felony abuse of a dead body and third-degree felony tampering with physical evidence.

“I am so proud of the work done by not only our detectives, but the state attorney’s office in securing an indictment," DeLoach said. "We never gave up.”

Richard is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.