Paighton Houston cause of death still unknown as JCSO searches for identified suspect


BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE (10:30 AM): Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief David Agee provided an update on arrest warrants filed against suspect Fredrick Hampton.

Chief Agee said the offender, Hampton, is believed to be responsible for disposing of Paighton Houston’s body.

The case started as a missing person’s case on Dec. 21, 2019 when Paighton Houston was last seen leaving the Tin Roof bar.

Her remains were discovered Jan. 3, 2020, in a shallow grave behind a house on Chapel Drive in Hueytown.

Agee reveals that they have not obtained a complete autopsy report that determines Houston’s cause of death.

“The cause and manner of [Paighton Houston’s] death have not been determined,” Chief Agee said.

What Agee could say was that there was “no physical trauma to the body of the victim that could have led to her death.”

The sheriff’s office believes that Houston was with Hampton on the night of Dec. 20, 2019, and “there was no evidence of any force” in her leaving the bar.

The office received evidence that after her disappearance, Houston died the next day at a house on McClain Street in Brighton and that after she died, she was allegedly “disposed of in a criminal manner” by Hampton at the location where she was later discovered.

Chief Agee said the sheriff’s office believes the offender, Hampton, was most likely familiar with the Hueytown property where Houston was discovered, and it is likely the property is a relative’s home.

Hampton is charged with abuse of a corpse and is also charged with violating a sex offender notification act. Chief Agee said that if additional evidence is developed, Hampton could face additional charges.

“The next step is to find Hampton and to take him into custody,” Chief Agee said.

Prior to his possible connection to Houston’s death, Hampton has a record of being a sex offender. At present, Hampton is not in custody, and Chief Agee asks that he turns himself in.

Chief Agee speculates that Hampton may have fled the area and could be in Georgia.

Agee thanked the Birmingham Police Department, Trussville Police Department, Hueytown Police Department and other agencies that assisted in the case.

Chief Agee stated that evidence that led to Houston’s discovery came through tip lines and the assistance of Crime Stoppers.

WATCH: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office update on Paighton Houston death investigation

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — On Wednesday, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has obtained arrest warrants for a suspect in connection to the death of Paighton Houston.

Fifty-year-old Fredrick Hampton has been charged with abuse of a corpse, a class C felony, with a $60,000 bond. The charge against Hampton is in connection to Houston’s death investigation.

He is not in custody and deputies are actively looking for him.

At 10:30 a.m., the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a press conference to provide additional details about the warrant. CBS 42 will be live.

Check back for the Livestream or tune in on Facebook Live.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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