PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - It’s been nearly two years since 5-year-old Paitin Fields was killed and the investigation into the child’s death is at an apparent standstill, according to Pender County Sheriff Alan Cutler.
“The Paitin Fields case remains an ongoing investigation with the same amount of interest that has always been placed on it,” Cutler said during a news conference on Oct. 16 about an unrelated investigation. “It is very important, very crucial, if anybody has any information they need to come forward and let us know.”
Fields was rushed to Pender Memorial Hospital on Nov. 13, 2017, unconscious as she entered the emergency department, according to an autopsy report. She was later transferred to New Hanover Regional Medical Center where an exam at the hospital revealed evidence of a sexual assault.
She eventually died three days later on Nov. 16., 2017. The autopsy report concluded that Fields was strangled and was the victim of sexual abuse.
No one has been formally charged in connection with Fields’ death, however, David Wesley Prevatte — Paitin’s uncle — was publicly named as a suspect in her murder on June 22, 2018, when he was charged with threatening the life of the lead investigator in the case.
At the time, Prevatte was in the Pender County Jail on unrelated charges which he ultimately pleaded guilty to. He’s currently in prison and is expected to be released in Jan. 2020, according to online records.
In a jailhouse interview, Prevatte denied killing Paitin. He acknowledged that he was the one who found Paitin unresponsive and apparently seizing the morning she was taken to the hospital, but said his innocence was demonstrated by his rendering aid to the child.
When asked about the perception that the investigation has stagnated, Sheriff Cutler said, “It would seem at a standstill. The interest has not gone away. We are still very concerned with this case. There’s just not a whole lot coming in right now but we continue to pursue any kind of information and evidence we can.”
“If certain things happen, I think we can head in a very good direction in this case. I hold up hope,” he added.
If you have any information regarding Paitin Fields’ death, please contact the Pender County Sheriff’s Office at 910-259-1212.