SAINT JO (KFDX/KJTL) — Residents of a small Montague County town are shaken as police investigate Saint Jo’s first murder in over 35 years.

As first reported by The Bowie News, Tia Hutson, 50, of Saint Jo, was found seriously injured inside of her home by a neighbor on August 5, 2022, after an alleged beating at the residence.

Saint Jo Police Chief Mark Robertson said the neighbor who discovered Hutson called 911 for an ambulance. Hutson was transported to Nocona General Hospital, then airlifted to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth with serious facial and head injuries.

Chief Robertson said the case began as an aggravated assault, but has now turned into a murder case after Hutson died on August 11 from injuries she received from the alleged beating on August 5.

According to Chief Robertson, this is the first murder in Saint Jo, a town with 863 residents, since 1986, and Hutson’s death has shaken the small community, according to The Bowie News.

Chief Robertson said the Texas Rangers have been contacted to assist the Saint Jo Police Department as they investigate Hutson’s murder.

“We have three in the department including myself,” Chief Robertson said. “Ranger Josh Engleman responded and is on the investigation, which opens us up to more resources for criminal investigation.”

Chief Robertson said the investigation is still in its early stages, and an autopsy will be performed.

According to Chief Robertson, Hutson was not married and did yard maintenance around Saint Jo.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the Saint Jo Police at (940) 995-2337 or the Montague County Crime Stoppers at (866) 499-8477.

This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as they become available.