Skip to main content

Brother of slain boy says accused mother hadn't 'snapped'

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
Mother 'in her own personal hell'
  • Ian McCrery is struggling to come to grips with the killing
  • His 6-year-old brother's body was found in a wooded area in Maine last month
  • His mother told her attorney she wanted to be with her son "eternally"

(CNN) -- The older brother of a Texas kindergartner whose body was found recently in Maine said he is struggling to understand why their mother, charged with second-degree murder, would allegedly commit such a crime.

"It's surreal," 23-year-old Ian McCrery told CNN Dallas affiliate WFAA Friday. "There is just something that happened to a wonderful, beautiful caring mother that made her do what she did," he said.

The body of 6-year-old Camden Hughes was found under a blanket May 14 alongside a remote road in South Berwick, Maine, near the New Hampshire border, sparking a massive tri-state manhunt.

Three days later, the boy's mother -- 42-year-old Julianne McCrery -- was taken into custody at a highway rest stop about 65 miles south in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. McCrery has pleaded not guilty to a charge of being a fugitive of justice in Massachussetts, but she has yet to enter a plea on second-degree murder charges in New Hampshire.

George Murphy, her court-appointed attorney, has said that at no point during their conversation did McCrery tell him that she had killed her son. But Murphy did acknowledge that police had told him she'd "confessed ... in detail."

Questions have emerged on McCrery's mental health. Murphy has said he feared McCrery was "suicidal" after their initial 15-minute meeting.

"She said she loved her son and wanted to be with him eternally -- she said it over and over again," Murphy said.

However, her oldest son said he did not believe his mother had a mental illness.

"I don't think she snapped," said McCrery. "To drive from here to Maine, you know, that's three days of thinking about it," he said.

Irving Independent School District Director of Security and Operations Pat Lamb told WFAA that Camden Hughes was last at school on May 6.

The kindergartner lived with his mother in Irving, Texas, where he attended W.T. Hanes Elementary. According to a school official, Camden was a "gifted" student.

The blond, blue-eyed kindergartner was enrolled in the gifted and talented program where Lamb said, "He loved to learn."

Camden's big brother showed a WFAA reporter the park where he used to take his little brother.

"I wanted a brother my whole life. When I had him, it was really easy to use all my energy and enthusiasm to make him smile and laugh and play."