After more than seven years, deputies said they solved a pregnant woman’s grisly murder and that a now-imprisoned man is responsible.
Lorenzo Benjamin Hudson, 42, was indicted Monday on murder and other charges for allegedly killing Shaquierra Elaine Pinckney, 22. The victim, a mother of two young daughters, was last seen the night of Aug. 30, 2015.
The victim had recently returned home to Daytona Beach, Florida, from Watertown, New York, because she had been homesick for family, her mother Stephanie Pinckney told the Daytona Beach News-Journal at the time. Although Shaquierra Pinckney had a nurse’s assistant certificate, she had been working at a Family Dollar store up north because she could not find a job in the health care industry.
On the early morning of Aug. 31, one of the daughters stood crying at the bedroom door. Stephanie Pinckney checked the back of the home. Shaquierra Pinckney was gone. Her mother reported her missing on Sept. 1, 2015.
Days later, on Sept. 3, a mortuary owner and two gravediggers found Shaquierra Pinckney dead at a graveyard in Putnam County.
“She was at the rear of the cemetery,” mortuary owner and pastor Christopher Coleman told the outlet. “She had probably been there three or four days.”
Deputies said in a statement and at a press conference that they were able to identify Shaquierra Pinckney because of her distinct tattoos.
Her horrifying death remained a mystery for years, although a News-Journal report may have contained a clue: she had posted an ad for herself under the pseudonym “Poison” in the escort section of the now-defunct classifieds website Backpage. In that ad, she reportedly said she had “zero tolerance” for violence.
Investigators now suggest that’s how she met her killer.
“Pinckney was known to access and place photos and advertisements on an escort section of a then-popular adult website,” Putnam County deputies wrote. “It is believed Hudson also utilized the website to solicit sex and that is how the pair met.”
They suggest it was Hudson who ditched the victim’s Honda Accord at an abandoned property in St. Johns County.
“This was a complicated case with several jurisdictions handling different parts of the case,” Sheriff H.D. ‘Gator’ DeLoach said. “We had a missing person in Daytona Beach, then we discovered Ms. Pinckney’s remains in a remote cemetery here in Putnam, 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. The case went cold, but I am so proud of the work done by not only our detectives, but the state attorney’s office in securing an indictment. We never gave up.”
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, DeLoach declined to give information about a possible motive, citing the need to protect the integrity of the case. He did say that police do not think Hudson worked with any other suspects.
The charges against Hudson include two counts of first-degree murder, abuse of a dead human body, and tampering with physical evidence. Prosecutors still have to decide whether to seek the death penalty.
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Lorenzo Hudson indicted in Shaquierra Elaine Pinckney murder
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