Body of missing South Carolina author found

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. --- The body of an author whose books profiled some of South Carolina's most infamous murders has been found in a river by two fishermen.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reported Sunday that the body of Dale Hudson, 56, was found by two fishermen Saturday in the Pee Dee River two miles south of the U.S. 76 bridge.

Mr. Hudson had been reported missing Friday.

Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson said foul play has been ruled out in Mr. Hudson's death. There were no signs of blunt force trauma or of gunshot wounds, and Mr. Richardson said officials are waiting for the results of toxicology tests to determine the exact cause of death.

The body was sent to Charleston for an autopsy, he said.

Mr. Hudson last spoke to his wife Wednesday morning, said Horry County police Sgt. Robert Kegler. She told police he left at 8 a.m. for an out-of-town business trip, and at 11 a.m. he called her to say he was getting a migraine headache and was going to rest.

Mr. Hudson told her he would call her shortly and let her know where he was stopping to rest, but he never called back, Sgt. Kegler said. Police found Mr. Hudson's vehicle in a wooded area of Marion County on Friday.

Mr. Hudson is the author of Dance of Death , the tale of Kimberly Renee Poole, a North Carolina woman who was convicted of having her boyfriend, John Boyd Frazier, shoot her husband in 1998 while the couple walked on the beach at Myrtle Beach for their third wedding anniversary. Ms. Poole and Mr. Frazier are both serving prison sentences.

Mr. Hudson also wrote Die, Grandpa, Die , the story of Christopher Pittman, the 12-year-old boy convicted of murdering his grandparents in their Chester home in 2001. Though Mr. Pittman confessed to the slayings during his trial as an adult in February 2005, he used the defense that he was mentally ill and taking the prescription drug Zoloft.

Mr. Hudson, a Camden native, also wrote two books with Billy Hills: An Hour To Kill , about the 1991 rape and murder of Conway teen Crystal Faye Todd, and A Reason To Live , the story of Pawleys Island resident Wanda Summers, who survived a killing rampage by two men in February 1979.