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1-year-old dies after deputies say his mother beat him to death

CYPRESS, Texas – A mother was arrested after investigators say she beat her 1-year-old son to death in Cypress.

Whitley Renee Hudson, 26, is charged with murder.

The toddler was rushed to a hospital with questionable injuries, which Hudson tried to excuse as a series of mistakes, but an autopsy proved otherwise, investigators say.

Hudson was living at a home with her father and her two young sons, ages 1 and 3.

On Jan. 29, she called 911 to report that her youngest boy was not breathing or responding. Emergency crews arrived and transported the toddler to Texas Children's Hospital West, where he was pronounced dead.

During an interview, Hudson told investigators she woke up around 7:30 a.m. to wash dishes and cooked breakfast for her sons about 30 minutes later. When she went in the room to wake up the boys, she noticed the baby's eyes were swollen. She said the boy had fallen in the bathtub the night before and, she believes, he hit his head on a faucet. Hudson said a bump began to form on his forehead, so she applied ice to treat it. She said after her son fell asleep, she placed him in his play pen.

Hudson the boy was lethargic when she tried to wake him up the following morning for breakfast. She said he was "floppy" and not breathing, so she began performing CPR while calling 911.

Investigators questioned Hudson about other injuries the boy could have suffered at other times.

Hudson told investigators that two days before her son's death, she found him running around with an open bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Assuming that he swallowed it, she gave him water to flush it out and a fruit cup to coat his stomach, according to court documents. Hudson said she did not call 911 to report him swallowing the peroxide because she did not think it was toxic and he seemed fine.

The mother said the boy also fell down stairs, bruising his chest, during the same week.

Suspicion arose after deputies spoke with the toddler's grandfather, who works late hours as a truck driver. The grandfather said he thought it was odd when his daughter came to pick him up from work one morning and the 1-year-old boy was not in the car, only his 3-year-old brother. He said Hudson told him the child was asleep and not feeling well.

The father was also alarmed when, while he was asleep, deputies knocked on his bedroom door to notify him his grandson was being rushed to the hospital. The father said it was unusual his daughter didn't tell him about the emergency, according to court documents.

An autopsy report revealed the child had suffered trauma in several areas, including his head, left and center torso and eye. Investigators said the injuries were consistent with those inflicted from blunt force such as "a very hard kick or a significant car accident."

When deputies returned to question Hudson again, she confessed she got very angry and hit the toddler in the chest after he swallowed the hydrogen peroxide. She said when she hit the child, he fell back and struck his head on a table.

Hudson was booked into the Harris County jail, and her bail was set at $50,000.