Hudson Funeral Home Murders Reward Funds Given To Charity

Unclaimed reward money in the murders of two funeral home workers in Hudson will fund groups that assist abused children.

The widow of one of the victims says her husband would have supported the cause wholeheartedly.

Before the Reverend Ryan Erickson surfaced as a suspect in the homicides, a $100,000 reward was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer. Most of the donations came from people in Hudson and in Barron, the hometown of victim James Ellison. He was interning at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home, where owner Dan O'Connell was also killed.

District Attorney Eric Johnson says evidence suggests O'Connell found out the priest was sexually abusing someone, was providing alcohol to minors, or both.

Jennie O'Connell says a committee of people who knew her husband decided where to direct the reward money. She says the committee will plan fundraisers to support the fund.

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