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Man charged in death of woman found in parking lot of a Dollar General store

The Tipton County Sheriff’s Office has charged 40-year-old Joseph Heath Huggins in the death of 32-year-old Haley Marie High of Memphis.
Credit: Tipton County Sheriff's Office
Joseph Heath Huggins

TIPTON COUNTY, Tenn. — UPDATE 3/5/2021 - The Tipton County Sheriff’s Office has charged 40-year-old Joseph Heath Huggins in the death of 32-year-old Haley Marie High of Memphis, who was found dead in the parking lot of a Dollar General store in Tipton County.

High was found Wednesday afternoon, dead in the parking lot of the store.

40-year-old Huggins is charged with facilitation of second-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He is currently being held without bond pending an appearance in General Sessions Court Tuesday.

From the Tipton County Sheriff: “During the investigation a search warrant was executed at Huggins residence, located at 968 Dunlap Orphanage Road, Brighton, TN. Multiple items determined to be possible evidence were collected, including a loaded firearm and ammunition.

The investigation has revealed that on 03 March 2021 Joseph Heath Huggins informed his father that the victim was in the upstairs of the residence suffering from a heroin overdose. The father found the victim to be alive, but unconscious with shallow breathing. He and Huggins loaded the victim into the truck where the victim was to be transported to the hospital. Instead, Joseph Heath Huggins drove to the Dollar General located at 7031 Hwy. 14 South and placed the victim on the ground behind the store. After discarding the victim at Dollar General, Huggins returned to his residence and attempted to conceal and/or destroy evidence, as well as alter the scene.”

Anyone with information in this case is asked to call the Criminal Investigations Division at 901-475-3300, Central Dispatch after hours at 901-475-4300, phone in tips at 901-475-3307, email tips to sheriff@tiptonco.com or Facebook Sheriff J.T. Pancho Chumley. Anonymous tips may be submitted to the Tipton County tip411 app or by texting “Tipton” to 847411.

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3/3/2021 - Police want to talk to a man after a woman was found dead in a Dollar General Store in Tipton County Wednesday.

According to the Tipton County Sheriff's Office, at about 3:45pm today deputies were called to the store at 7031 Hwy. 14 South because someone was unresponsive in the parking lot. First responders tried but could not revive the woman victim.

Investigators said video surveillance cameras recorded an early model, grey Nissan Frontier with Tennessee tag #5A8-4L0 leaving the scene of where the victim was found.  The vehicle is believed to belong to 40-year-old Joseph Huggins. Detectives would like to talk with Huggins so he hopefully can help identify the woman and the circumstances leading up to the event.

The Tipton County Medical Examiner has ordered an autopsy be performed.

"Please be mindful that this investigation is in the very early stages and our detectives are trying to gather as much information as possible," stated Sheriff J.T. "Pancho" Chumley. 

"We are hoping that once we speak with Mr. Huggins we will have more information as to what took place. I urge anyone with information to please contact the Sheriff's Office so we may make proper notification to the victim's family," said Sheriff Chumley.

If anyone has information pertaining to the case, please call the Criminal Investigations Division at 901-475-3300, Central Dispatch after hours at 901-475-4300, phone in tips at 901-475-3307, email tips to sheriff@tiptonco.com or Facebook Sheriff J.T. Pancho Chumley. Anonymous tips may be submitted to the Tipton County tip411 app or by texting “Tipton” to 847411.