HALEYVILLE - What began Thursday, Aug. 30 as a missing person’s report quickly turned into a murder scene on Aug. 31.
Vicky Denise Howton, 53, was found deceased and hidden in the bedroom closet at 1630 9th Court.
The family member who filed the missing person’s report with the Haleyville Police Department indicated he had not spoken with Howton since Sunday, Aug. 26, and a “Be on the Lookout,” or BOLO, report was issued.
On the day of the discovery, officers with the Haleyville Police Department went to 1624 9th Court, with it being the last known residence of Howton. At this time, the property owner had not seen her. She was supposedly staying with a boyfriend, so the police checked the nearby residence where they both lived at one time.
Being described as a house used only for storage, officers entered and discovered the body.
The district attorney’s office was notified, and the Haleyville Fire Department, along with the coroner, were called to assist in removing the body, which was taken for an autopsy to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Huntsville.
Police are waiting on the forensics lab report on what type of item may have been used as a weapon as well as the cause of death.
Vicky was also known as Vicky Liverett, according to Haleyville Police Chief Kyle Reogas.
Later in the day on Friday, Aug. 31, a warrant was issued for the boyfriend, charging him with murder and was based on knowledge obtained by police.
The suspect’s name is Randall Lee Walker and described as 52 years old, 5’8” in height, weighing 275 lbs. with brown eyes and brown hair. He was last seen in the area driving a 2001 Ford F-150 pickup, gold in color, with a Mississippi handicapped license plate.
“Walker is known to have associations in Waynesboro, MS, and Stonewall, MS, and in Tuscaloosa,” Reogas said.
“We believe he (Walker) left Haleyville Friday morning between the hours of 5 and 8 a.m.,” Reogas explained.
On Tuesday, Sept. 4, Investigator Tim Steien, Sgt. Jason Williams and Officer Nathan Whitman returned to the scene to collect additional physical evidence believed to pertain to Howton’s murder and was taken to Huntsville the next day.
Late afternoon on Thursday, Sept. 6, Haleyville Police were contacted by a family member of Walker’s and were told Walker had been found dead in Meridian, Mississippi, on Monday, Sept. 3.
“We attempted to get that confirmed by authorities in Meridian and were able to get confirmation on Friday, the seventh,” Reogas said.
“Authorities in Meridian say he was discovered in his pickup, which was the Ford F-150 we originally said he was traveling in, around 7 a.m. the morning of the third,” Reogas continued.
“Authorities in Meridian have ruled his death by natural cause.”
A peculiar circumstance happened when Walker was found.
“There is some confusion on our part,” Reogas mentioned.. When they ran his driver’s license, why it did not kick back to them notifying them he was wanted for murder in Alabama. There’s no explanation given for that. Because of that, authorities in Meridian never contacted us here in Alabama. We were contacted by a family member.
“He did have in his possession the social security card and debit card that was issued to Howton. We are certain he did cause her death,” Reogas stated.
The case has been closed by Haleyville Police Department.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.