Slain Alabama woman who had texted friends she was in trouble died of accidental overdose, coroner says
Paighton Houston’s body was disposed of by Frederick Hampton, authorities say.
January 31, 2020, 10:14 AM
5 min read
An Alabama woman whose body was found in a shallow grave two weeks after she went missing died from an accidental drug-opioid overdose, officials said.
The Jefferson County Coroner/Medical Examiner’s Office on Thursday concluded its investigation into the death of 29-year-old Trussville native Paighton Houston. The cause of death was determined to be morphine and methamphetamine toxicity, and the manner of the death was accidental, the coroner said in the report.
The news comes one day after a suspect wanted in connection with Houston’s disappearance and death was captured in Ohio following a weekslong manhunt.
Members of the U.S. Marshals Service’s Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Frederick Hampton, 50, at a relative’s home in Cleveland on Wednesday night.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in Birmingham, Alabama, had issued an arrest warrant for Hampton earlier this month for sex offender registration violations and abuse of a corpse.
Authorities have said they have evidence that Hampton was with Houston on the night she vanished and that he disposed of her body after she died the next day.
When Houston left a bar with two men in Birmingham on the night of Dec. 20, she texted one of her friends saying “she didn’t know who she was with and that she felt like she was in trouble,” her brother told ABC News in an interview after she went missing.
It’s unknown whether Hampton was one of the men Houston left the bar with.
Houston’s body was found on Jan. 3 wrapped in sheets and buried in a shallow grave behind a house in Hueytown, about 15 miles from the Birmingham bar where she was last seen.
The home belongs to relatives of Hampton, authorities said.
Hampton will remain in custody in Cleveland until he can be extradited back to Birmingham, authorities said.
After being convicted for rape and sodomy in 1992, Hampton served more than 20 years in prison. He was released in 2012, according to jail records.
ABC News’ Ahmad Hemingway contributed to this report.