Husband charged with wife’s murder after child reported witnessing the killing

The husband of a woman whose body was found nearly a month after she was reported missing pleaded guilty on Thursday to strangling her and hiding her body in a storage unit, NBC affiliate WAVE reported.

Judson Hoover, 50 of New Albany, Indiana, was arrested on Monday in connection with the death of Rebecca Ruth Hoover, 38. Her body was found that day in a storage unit in Louisville, Kentucky, prosecutors said in a Thursday news conference.

Judson Hoover is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

Authorities targeted Judson Hoover on Aug. 27, when one of the couple’s children reported to school officials seeing him kill their mother in the basement of their home, The Associated Press reported. The boy reported seeing his father stomp on his mother multiple times and stab her with a set of keys, WAVE reported.

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When Judson Hoover arrived at school that day to pick up his children, he gave investigators consent to search the home, according to the News and Tribune.

Police found blood spatter at the bottom of the basement stairs, and surveillance footage showed Judson Hoover move a 55-gallon container from a storage unit on Aug. 28.

On Monday, police executed a search warrant on a second storage unit in Louisville, where they found Rebecca Ruth Hoover’s body. She was first reported missing on Aug. 4 by her mother, said New Albany Police Chief Todd Bailey.

An autopsy showed she died from blunt force trauma to the head and torso, according to police.

As the investigation continued “it became very apparent that Judson Hoover was responsible for her death,” Bailey said.

Judson Hoover’s attorney, Charles Streib, did not immediately return a phone call and an email seeking comment Thursday.

Hoover was previously charged in April with strangulation and domestic battery committed in the presence of a child, according to court records. That case remains active.

“I am profoundly saddened for the family of Rebecca Hoover,” said Chris Lane, a Floyd County prosecutor. “My office will vigorously pursue justice.”


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