Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
Myrtle Hudson was kidnapped from her Port Arthur home in 1986. Her purse and car keys were found at home. Twenty-one years later, her case was finally solved and her kidnapper and killer, Tommy Lee Stewart, was linked to the crime through DNA evidence. He was also held responsible for the slaying of her 18-year-old daughter, Willette. She was found strangled in the attic of the attached garage of the family's home in east Port Arthur. Stewart, already serving a life sentence for a sexual assault conviction, confessed to the killings. Stewart told investigators he dumped Myrtle Hudson's body in a remote location on Pleasure Island.
Stewart had a violent history long before the murders. On Oct. 21, 1971, in Waco he was charged in the death of Jean Carolyn Matthews, whose home he was accused of burglarizing before he abducted and killed her. He was released from prison on June 6, 1986, and moved in with a Port Arthur woman he'd met while incarcerated.
On Nov. 6, less than two months after the murders, Stewart was arrested for sexually assaulting and attempting to kill a juvenile female he had left for dead on Pleasure Island. The girl had been hog-tied and struck in the head, but she survived and identified Stewart as the assailant.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Texas Department of Safety
Texas District & County Attorneys Association