UPDATE: Person of interest sought in Helena double homicide

Published 7:50 pm Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

The Helena Police Department is investigating the death of two people in a Helena neighborhood.

HPD was called secondary to the fire department around 3:22 p.m. to the 100 block of Piney Woods Drive in the Riverwoods neighborhood on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Police were called when a 12-year-old grandson of the couple at the address came home and found his grandfather unresponsive. The boy then called the fire department, who determined the man was deceased upon arrival. The fire department then called the Helena Police Department.

Upon arrival, Helena Police Chief Brad Flynn said officers found one subject down that they determined was deceased. Flynn said during the subsequent search of the house, they found another individual who was also deceased.

Flynn confirmed that it was one male and one female and that foul play is suspected. Nothing was taken from the residence.

“Our patrol officers backed out of the residence, we notified the Shelby County Major Crimes Task Force, and we have personnel from that task force on the scene and we are currently processing that scene,” Flynn said on Wednesday night.

According to Flynn, there is one person of interest they are looking for, while adding that it didn’t seem like a random act and there isn’t a danger to the community.

“We don’t want people to think there’s a random killer roaming the streets,” he said.

Flynn confirmed that the person of interest in the case is John Peyton Scott III, whose main tie with the deceased individuals is that he lives at the residence.

“That’s all we can release right now is he is a resident of this house, and we believe him to have material relevance to this investigation and we would like to talk to him,” Flynn said.

He added that officers and investigators on the scene have talked with neighbors and other family members that were able to provide additional information.

“We’re compiling that with information that we’re processing from the scene to put together exactly what did occur here,” Flynn said. “Something like this isn’t something that we can rush. We have dedicated professionals that are here in every different aspect of crime scene investigation as well as detectives. We hope to find out exactly what happened here. And if an individual is responsible here, hopefully we can bring him to some kind of justice.”

Flynn also said the investigation has been a team effort with several different agencies.

“We’re working closely with our Major Crimes Task Force,” Flynn said. “We have people from Helena, Shelby County, Alabaster, Montevallo and Pelham, and they’re all here and we’re working with other people and agencies in different parts outside of Shelby County. It’s a team effort. As unfortunate as these events are, events like this are the whole reason we have the Task Force.”

He also said it is a difficult moment for the city of Helena, which is considered one of the state’s safest places to live.

“Helena is my home. I’m not just the chief here. This is where I live, this is where my family lives,” he said. “So when my community hurts, I hurt. The outpouring of support for this family will be overwhelming, and we just need to be there to support the family and friends of the individuals who were lost tonight.”

Flynn also offered his condolences to the family, saying the police department’s “heart grieves for the family.”

“It’s unheard of for us to have not only a homicide, but a double homicide,” he said. “Our heart breaks for the family, but we’re going to do everything in our power to figure out what happened and bring the person responsible to justice.”

If anyone has any information pertaining to the whereabouts of Mr. Peyton, we ask that they call HPD Detective Michael Nelson at 205-663-6499 or email at mnelson@cityofhelena.org.

Follow Shelbycountyreporter.com for the latest from the investigation as more details are released.