Priest: Knew Details In Hudson Funeral Home Murders

Newly-released police records reveal how investigators began to suspect a former Hudson priest was involved in the murders of a funeral home director and an intern.

Hudson detectives interviewed the Reverend Ryan Erickson in November, 2004 at a rectory in Hurley where he had moved.

The detectives told Erickson they wanted to interview him because he worked at the Catholic church in Hudson at the time of the murders.

Erickson told the detectives he learned about the sudden deaths of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison from a church secretary the afternoon of the murders on February 5, 2002.

He asked the secretary to call and find out if they needed a priest to do last rites. Erickson says he traveled to the funeral home in Hudson, but police wouldn't let him enter.

Police began considering Erickson a possible suspect because he knew some details about the crime scene that police had not made public, including that O'Connell's body was found behind a desk.

The priest went to O'Connell's home to console his family and even hugged O'Connell's widow.