From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM — In a statement issued by Jefferson County Coroner Bill Yates early Thursday morning, toxicology reports in the death of Paighton Houston of Trussville revealed that she died of an accidental drug overdose.
“On January 03, 2020, the body of Paighton Laine Houston was recovered from a shallow grave that was located behind a private residence in the 200 block of Chapel Drive in Hueytown, Alabama,” according to Yates’ statement. “The Jefferson County Coroner/Medical Examiner’s Office has concluded its investigation into the death, with the following findings.”
The cause of death was determined to be Morphine and methamphetamine toxicity and the manner of death was determined to be accidental.
“This represents an overdose and is classified as a drug-opioid death,” Yates said.
The early autopsy results revealed no physical trauma to Houston’s body that could have resulted in her death.
The news of the autopsy results comes one day after the man charged with abusing her corpse was arrested.
Fredrick Hampton, 50, of Brighton, who faces a charge of abuse of a corpse, was captured in Cleveland, Ohio, by the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Hampton is not charged in her death.
Chief Deputy David Agee said according to the medical examiner, no trauma was found on Houston’s body that would have led to her death. Investigators said they have reason to believe Houston was in the company of the suspect on the night of Friday, Dec. 20, 2019.
“We have evidence that the victim died the next day at a house on McClain Street, in Brighton,” said Agee. “We have evidence that after the victim died, her body was disposed of by Frederick Hampton, in a criminal manner.”
Investigators said there is no evidence Houston was taken against her will or by force.
Agee said it took a lot of agencies to work through the investigation.
“We would like to thank Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith and the Birmingham Police Department,” said Agee. “We would like to thank Trussville Police Chief Eric Rush and the Trussville Police Department, they have been great.”
Agee went onto thank the Hueytown Police Department and investigators working with the Jefferson County Metro Area Crime Center, along with all investigators who worked the case. Agee also thanked Governor Kay Ivey and local media for keeping the story in the forefront.
Hampton is a convicted sex offender, and he has previous convictions for first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy, among other charges, according to court documents. The rape and sodomy case, from 1992, was out of Jefferson County. Hampton was released from prison in 2012 and was later arrested for violation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, which he pleaded guilty to. He was given a two years suspended sentence for that charge.
According to Alabama Code 13A-11-13, abuse of a corpse crime means a person “knowingly treats a human corpse in a way that would outrage ordinary family sensibilities.”
If convicted, a person charged with abuse of a corpse would be sentenced to more than a year in prison.
Houston’s body was recovered from a shallow grave in Hueytown, on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020. She was last seen at Tin Roof in Birmingham, on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, according to police.
Chief Deputy Agee said the property where Houston’s body was found is owned by the suspect’s family.
Jefferson County Coroner Bill Yates said toxicology results are partially complete but that information will not be released until all tests are completed in 4 – 6 weeks.
“It is our hope that this is the beginning of getting to the truth and seeking justice for Paighton,” said Landon Houston, brother of Paighton Houston, when he was made aware of the charge.