Complete autopsy released, goes in depth on how Paitin Fields died

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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – For months we’ve worked to get answers in who killed five-year-old Paitin Fields.

The Pender County Sheriff’s Office tells us she was raped and strangled to death in late 2017. Tuesday the state medical examiners office released its full report on Paitin Fields’ body.

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It took more than six months since she died. The results confirming what investigators initially believed. The medical examiners office found that Paitin died because she was strangled.

Fields died November 16th. That was three days after her family took the unresponsive five-year-old to Pender Memorial Hospital. The initial reports said the family alerted the staff that Paitin had been fighting a respiratory issue for days.

The medical examiner noted something else: a healing ligature mark around her neck. That could mean an object had been wrapped around it. In fact the ME went further to note the mark was around a 1/4 inch thick. In their summary, the office also pointed out some reports said Paitin was doing well a day before she was brought to the hospital.



A majority of the autopsy findings show the side affects of strangulation. The ME’s office said Paitin’s face, neck, head as well as eyes were blood-shot with multiple popped blood vessels. The examiner found her lungs also had sustained hemorrhaging. The results showed her brain showed a “patchy duskiness” possibly due to a lack of oxygen.

The report, now in our hands, sits also in the hands of the Pender County Sheriff’s Office. Captian James Rowell with the Office confirmed to our Andrew James that the detective had the autopsy. The completed autopsy was marked finished last Friday prior to the holiday weekend. The Sheriff for months told us they needed this report as well as the rape kit findings to move forward in this case.

Those rape kit results came in January. The autopsy report showed there are signs of “sexual trauma” to Paitin’s body.

The PCSO told us the detective will move forward with the information in the autopsy, however, no persons of interest or suspects have been named.