Alabama authorities are searching for a 50-year-old sex offender in connection with the death of a Trussville woman last seen leaving a bar with two men before being found dead two weeks later.
On Thursday, Jefferson County Deputy Chief David Agee announced at a press conference a warrant has been issued for Fredrick Hampton, 50, for abuse of a corpse in connection with the death of 29-year-old Paighton Houston.
Houston was last seen on Dec. 20 leaving a bar in the Lakeview District of Birmingham with two men. Officials said she left with them willingly.
Hours later, she sent a text message to a friend that said, “Idk who im with so if I call please answer. I feel in trouble,” The Trussville Tribune reports.
Agee said evidence shows Houston and Hampton allegedly had been together the night Houston was last seen alive and that she died the following day at a house in Brighton.
Evidence also shows Hampton allegedly moved Houston’s body, Agee said.
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On Jan. 3, Houston’s body was found in a shallow grave behind an unoccupied home in Hueytown. Agee said Hampton’s family may own the home.
It is unclear how Houston died. There were no obvious signs of trauma to her body, according to Agee. An autopsy report is pending.
“We are saying they were together. There is no evidence there was any force,” Agee said.
Authorities are actively searching for Hampton, who is also charged with violating his sex offender notification act.
“We want to get him into custody,” Agee said Thursday. “We would hope he would turn himself in. That would be best for everyone.”
Hampton was convicted of sodomy and rape in 1992, AL.com reports. His sex offender registry note states, “offender along with 7 other men Committed Rape 1st and Sodomy 1st on an adult female.”
Anyone with information is urged to call 911, the sheriff’s office at 205-325-1450 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.