Alabama authorities are searching for a convicted sex offender in connection with the death of Paighton Houston, an Alabama woman found dead earlier this month.
According to Al.com, authorities are searching for Fredrick Hampton, of Brighton. He’s currently being charged with abuse of a corpse. Authorities are still waiting on results to determine the cause and manner of Paighton’s death.
“We have evidence that the victim died the next day at a house on McClain Street, in Brighton,” Chief Deputy David Agee said. “We have evidence that after the victim died, her body was disposed of by Frederick Hampton, in a criminal matter.”
As of now, there is no evidence that Paighton was taken against her will, according to authorities. There was no physical trauma to her body.
Police initially arrested Hampton in connection with Houston’s case on suspicion of kidnapping. He was subsequently released when authorities could not provide enough evidence to charge him with 48 hours. He’s now unaccounted for.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s office holds press conference regarding update to the death of Paighton Houston
Posted by Jefferson County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, January 16, 2020
Hampton was previously convicted of rape and sodomy charges in Jefferson County, in 1992.
Online court records indicate Hampton spent 20 years behind bars for his previous convictions. He was released in 2012. He was also charged with kidnapping in connection with the case but those charges were dismissed.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, multiple tips led authorities to the small Hueytown home, on the corner of Chapel Drive and Love Street on January 2. The following day, they discovered Paighton’s body.
Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynniece Washington confirmed that a body wrapped in fabric was exhumed from a shallow hole. The body was of an “intact” female, found in the “muddy, nasty” yard of the residence.
Houston was last seen alive on December 20. A coworker reportedly said she went to the Tin Roof bar in downtown Birmingham with Houston after work on the night she vanished.
Someone later contacted Houston’s family and said Houston was last seen leaving the bar at around 10:45 p.m. with “two heavy set black males.” Houston’s family then called 911 and relayed the information.
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Sergeant Johnny Williams with the Birmingham Police Department said authorities did not see Houston on security footage with two men. They have not found anyone matching their descriptions, Williams added. It’s unclear whether police spotted Houston on security footage at all.
Friends posted on social media that Houston didn’t know the men she left with. Later that night, she reportedly sent a text message to a friend indicating that she could be in trouble.
“idk who im with so if I call please answer. I feel in trouble,” the text message said, according to Trussville Tribune.
Authorities have not confirmed whether Houston knew anyone associated with the Chapel Drive home. Neighbors indicated the home was once occupied by an elderly man. The man’s family moved him from the home for medical care and the residence has been unoccupied since.
Jefferson County sheriff’s Chief Deputy David Agee said on Friday that as of now, Paighton’s case is being treated as a “death investigation” only. Whether the death is a homicide will be determined after the cause of death is revealed.
The story is developing. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Frederick Hampton/Police Handout; Paighton Houston/Handout]