Police release new details about woman found dead in Jones Valley

Published: Oct. 18, 2015 at 5:57 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 16, 2015 at 10:09 PM CST
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27-year-old Tonya Amerson (Source: Facebook)
27-year-old Tonya Amerson (Source: Facebook)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Police released new details about the investigation into the murder of Tonya Lynn Amerson, 27.

Huntsville police arrested and charged 41-year-old William Lewis Payton of Huntsville with Amerson's murder. Her body was found Friday morning around 1:40 behind the Valley Bend Shopping Center on Carl T. Jones Drive. 

Investigators were able to determine that Payton, Amerson's boyfriend, was responsible for her murder.

On Monday, police said that Amerson was killed at Payton's apartment on Mahogony Row, then taken to the shopping center and dumped.

No cause of death has been released.

Payton was out on probation after he pleaded guilty to drug charges in 2014.

Amerson's parents, Ricky and Susan Amerson said they were surprised when they were notified of their daughter's death.  
The Amerson's described their daughter as a free spirit, and said they saw their daughter about once a month.

They described her as a nice young woman, and didn't believe she had any enemies. They said they can't think of a reason she would be where she was found, behind the Jones Valley Target.

Susan Amerson said her daughter and Payton were close, but at times had an on-and-off relationship.  She said they always remained friendly for the sake of their three daughters, all between the ages of two and 10. Amerson said two of the daughters are staying with an aunt, and another with Patyon's sister.

Susan Amerson said she hopes the children are all taken care of.

Susan Amerson said she wants to know exactly what happened leading up to her daughter's death. Even so, when those details emerge, she said she won't know if she'll ever fully understand why her daughter was murdered.

Tonya Lynn Amerson's family said they will need help paying for their daughter's funeral, and have set up a GoFundMe Page.

Huntsville police say they continue to investigate this case.

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