A Texas woman has been arrested in the killing of her young son, whose body was found last weekend along a driveway in South Berwick, prosecutors said late Wednesday.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office said 42-year-old Julianne McCrery of Irving, Texas, was arrested on a fugitive-from-justice charge in Massachusetts, where she was detained by police earlier in the day. The arrest occurred after prosecutors issued a warrant on a second-degree murder charge in the death of Camden Pierce Hughes in Hampton, N.H., on Saturday.

Preliminary autopsy findings showed the cause of the 6-year-old’s death was asphyxiation and the manner of death was homicide, said Maine’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Margaret Greenwald.

McCrery was scheduled to be arraigned today in Concord District Court in Massachusetts.

McCrery was reportedly taken into custody Wednesday morning at a rest area along Interstate 495 in Chelmsford, Mass., after a passer-by saw her in a blue Toyota Tacoma that matched the description of the truck that was seen when the body was dumped Saturday morning.

A computer-generated photo of the boy had circulated across the country for four days as investigators tried to identify him.

A homeowner in South Berwick found the boy’s body at 5 p.m. Saturday along a dirt driveway off Dennett Road. A witness had seen a blue Toyota Tacoma, with some sort of Navy insignia, in the area at 7:30 a.m.

Police distributed the vehicle’s description through the media. The day after details about the naval insignia were released, Massachusetts police got the tip.

After several hours of interviews with the woman, a development in the investigation led to the transfer of the case to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, said Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio.

He would not specify the reason, saying New Hampshire’s strict code of judicial ethics limits what type of information can be released. “Investigators are in possession of a great deal of information that we cannot share with you,” he said.

Wednesday night, the New Hampshire Division of State Police Major Crimes Unit taped off the parking lot of a hotel in Hampton. The Portland Press Herald’s media partner, WGME-TV, reported that employees at the Stone Gable Inn were questioned about the boy.

The investigation of the boy’s death was originally a Maine case because of where his body was found. The case would be transferred to another jurisdiction if there was evidence that the boy died in another state.

Procopio said that during the interview of the woman, police determined a medical evaluation would be appropriate. He would not elaborate, other than to say she was not suffering from a critical medical problem.

Contacted Wednesday, Paul McCrery of Fort Worth, Texas, Julianne McCrery’s ex-husband, would not discuss his ex-wife, from whom he has been divorced for about 10 years.

He said he is not Camden’s father, but started talking to the boy regularly about a year ago and keeps a photo of him riding a tricycle. “He was a very happy boy,” Paul McCrery said.

He said he had no direct information about what happened to Camden.

Paul McCrery is the father of Julianne McCrery’s adult son, Ian, who is in the Navy.

A former boyfriend of McCrery told The Boston Globe that she has suffered from mental illness and substance abuse.

Robert Miller of Irving, Texas, told the newspaper that McCrery and Camden moved in with him about two years ago, but moved out a couple of months ago.

Miller told the Globe that McCrery loved Camden and often read to him. He also said she struggled with substance abuse and tried to kill herself before Camden was born. Miller said he is not Camden’s father and he doesn’t know who is.

Miller told the Globe that he last spoke with McCrery on Tuesday. She didn’t say she was in New England, he said, so he assumed she was in Texas. He said he did not sense that anything was wrong. McCrery and Camden had been coughing recently and were very sick, he said.

The Globe also reported that McCrery’s mother, LuRae McCrery of Curtis, Neb., said she had spoken with her daughter by telephone as recently as Tuesday, and she seemed in fine spirits other than a persistent cold.

“I have no idea why she went to Maine,” she told the newspaper.

The Texas Department of Corrections says Julianne McCrery was convicted in 2004 of possession with intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance. She was convicted of prostitution in 2003.

McCrery wrote a book, “Good Night, Sleep Tight: How to Fall Asleep and Go Back to Sleep When You Wake Up.” A description of the author on Amazon.com says she has two sons, one who is in the Navy and one who was 3 when the book was published, in March 2009.

The Fort Worth (Texas) Business Press contributed to this story.

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

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Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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