Tipton County authorities identify Memphis woman found dead in parking lot; suspect charged


TIPTON CO., Tenn. – Tipton County authorities charged a man after a Memphis woman’s body was found in the parking lot of a Tipton County business.

The man was identified Friday as Joseph Heath Huggins, 40. He was charged with facilitation of second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and being a convicted felon in possession of a gun.

According to law enforcement, Joseph Huggins told his father that the victim – identified as Haley Marie High, 32, of Memphis – had suffered a heroin overdose while at his home on March 3. The woman was still alive at the time. The woman was loaded into a vehicle, but instead of taking her to the hospital, Joseph Huggins drove to the Dollar General on Highway 14 South and allegedly left her there.

Huggins then allegedly returned home to destroy evidence, as well as alter the scene.

A woman, who does not want to be identified, told WREG she watched Wednesday as first responders worked, trying to save the High’s life.

Woman found dead in Tipton County parking lot; man sought for questioning

“It was a little scary cause I’ve never actually witnessed something like that,” the witness said. “Giving chest compressions on this lady. She was kind of more of a dark-haired lady. They looked like they were trying to save her, and I hate that they couldn’t.”

No one at the Dollar General Store would comment, but we’re told the woman was found by an employee who was going out to empty trash.

“Once our deputies made the scene, they located a white female lying, unresponsive, in the parking lot,” said Billy Daugherty, chief deputy of the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office. “They immediately began rendering medical aid. Shortly thereafter medical personnel made the scene and determined she was deceased.”

“The victim has been sent to the Regional Forensics Center for and autopsy to be conducted. The findings of that autopsy will help us to determine more specifically the time of death, hopefully, and circumstances surrounding her death,” Daugherty said.

Answers may bring closure for the family, but they won’t erase what this person witnessed Wednesday afternoon.

“I was a little shaken up cause that’s somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister or parent,” the witness said.

This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with information is urged to contact the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office.

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