Body found in shallow gave in Hueytown identified as Paighton Houston, death ruled accidental overdose

** Updates will be posted at the end **

Paighton Houston (29) disappeared after leaving Tin Roof, a Birmingham bar, on December 20, 2019. She reportedly left willingly with two heavy-set black males around 10:45 pm.

Paighton’s mother makes her first post about her being missing.

Paighton had been at the bar with a coworker (G) after their shift at work, Expedited Transport LLC. According to another coworker (B), Paighton and G were supposed to meet her and her boyfriend at Zydeco that night. Instead Paighton and G changed plans and went to Tin Roof, where they were with a couple other coworkers.

Paighton’s coworkers all left “hours” before she did.

That night, Paighton’s debit card was found on the floor of the bar and turned in to the bartender. But according to Paighton’s brother, she didn’t even use her debit card at the bar that night.

“She was last seen leaving the location with two heavy set black males. It was reported that Paighton appeared to have left the location willingly with the two males,” Williams said last month, prior to authorities checking the bar’s security footage. 

According to WBRC, Sergeant Johnny Williams with the Birmingham Police Department said investigators have reviewed surveillance video from a bar where Paighton Houston was last seen and have not found anyone matching the description of the two men she is believed to have left with. It’s unclear whether police spotted Paighton on security footage at all.

Her family said Paighton sent a concerning text message later that night to the coworker (G) she was at the bar.

idk who i am with, so if i call please answer. i feel in trouble.

Her phone last pinged near a hospital, 14 miles from the bar she was last seen at.

Sergeant Williams said that Paighton’s disappearance is a “strange” case.

“We don’t have any other leads. We’ve exhausted the ones we’ve had to this point, but we’ll continue to investigate and try to develop new leads.”

Then on January 2, 2020, an article was posted. It was titled “Multi-agency police investigation underway in Hueytown neighborhood”, and there was speculation it had something to do with Paighton.

Investigators from Birmingham, Trussville, and Hueytown police, Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies and the Metro Area Crime Center were at a residential area on Chapel Drive at Love Street.

Residents said they blocked off the Chapel Drive shortly before 5:30 p.m. People in the area said they saw at least two K9s on scene and one man said police asked him if he had a shovel they could borrow.

The investigation was temporarily suspended around 9:30 that night but resumed Friday morning.

Turns out, all that was related to the search for Paighton. A tip lead investigators to this property.

Initially Hueytown’s police chief told ABC 33/40, “There was no body found. It’s complicated.” Law enforcement has not released any more information about the investigation despite numerous requests.

The address is 210 Chapel Drive, Hueytown AL.

When the search resumed Friday morning, the entire road was closed down.

A tent was put up towards the back of the house by a shed and investigators were seen carrying shovels. Crime scene units from several agencies arrived.

A woman who owned the home arrived. She owned the home but hadn’t lived there for 20 years. Unsure who actually was living there, if anyone. (SS of “homeowner” names have been posted every where but it was also rumored that the house was unoccupied and a “drug/trap” house).

Eventually, as many expected but didn’t want the outcome to be, the coroner arrived on scene as investigators put their shovels away.

Everyone on Paighton’s thread in True Crime Society were intently watching every live video they could find covering the search of 210 Chapel Drive.

Comments came in:

*Live just stated they exhumed a body but no id
*Reporter on live said off screen “they told me they found a body but no ID”
*Exhumed body but no ID

And then the breaking update came in.

From the live video: It was a tip that led LEO to this home. A body was exhumed from a shallow hole, which is intact and female. The DA said that the body was found outside of the house in the backyard area, which is very muddy. They had to dig to see the body since it was not evident looking down. She said the coroner is doing examination now and information will be released when he is done. She could not tell the condition of body because it was wrapped in a cloth of some kind. No arrests have been made. According to her, the house is not occupied right now.

Later in the day, the body found was identified as Paighton Houston. Jefferson County Deputy Chief David Agee has said that the examination is not complete and there has been no determination of the manner and cause of death.

This is an active investigation. The blog will be updated as information comes in.

Updates

1.16.2020 — Press conference held concerning details about a warrant that has been issued for a man in connection to the death of Paighton Houston.

Live video of police serving a warrant (May or may not be related, trying to find out more information)

Capt. David Agee says a warrant is issued for a 50-year-old sex offender from Brighton , Fredrick Hampton, who is expected to be charged with abuse of a corpse, which is a class C felony. He is not charged in connection with Paighton Houston’s death, only with actions authorities say he took following her death.

They are actively searching for him.

Link to PC

From press conference:

  • Arrest warrant issued for Fredrick Hampton (50), charged with abuse of corpse
  • Not in custody, actively looking for him
  • Have not received completed autopsy, and cause/manner of death have not been determined
  • There was no physical trauma to the body that would have resulted in her death
  • Fredrick and Paighton were together the night of December 20
  • There is evidence that she died the next day at a house on McClain St in Brighton
  • There is evidence that her body was disposed of in a criminal manner by Fredrick (charged with abuse of corpse & also violating the Sex Offender Registry Act) Additional

Questions from PC

Did Fredrick and Paighton know each other? They were together on December 20 & 21, that’s what we’re saying.

Are you saying she left the bar with Fredrick, or do you know? We are saying they were together on Dec 20.

Willingly or voluntarily? There is no evidence there was any force.

What is Fredrick’s background. Does he have and prior history leading up to this? He is a register sex offender. At the time of this offence he was current in his registration. After this offence he did commit an offence which violated the Sex Offender Act.

What was the motive for abuse of corpse? That’s a question for the offender who committed the act

Can you say what lead you to Fredrick? A lot of evidence came in through tipline and Crime Stoppers. Ivestigators did a gret job following up on that information and tracking down the location of the victim.

That location, do you know any specific significance for that or why he would have taken her there? The offender was likely familiar with that property. Quite possible that relatives owned that property.

More arrests? This offender is responsible for this crime, for disposing of a corpse in this matter.

Any addiction charges? Possible, depending on what evidence becomes available.

Timeline for autopsy results? Up to the coroners

Is Fredrick considered “armed & dangerous”? He is a wanted man

Is it possible he left the state? He may be in Georgia and he may return.

UPDATE

1.29.20

The U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force captured Hampton. He was taken into custody at 7:30 p.m., said Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Cliff LaBarge.

Mugshot after capture

Link

UPDATE

1.30.20

Cause of death: Morphine and methamphetamine toxicity

Manner of death: Accidental

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