PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Nearly three years after Paitin Fields' death, no one has been formally charged with the child’s murder.
The five-year-old was rushed to Pender Memorial Hospital on Nov. 13, 2017, and was 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 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.
On Thursday, District Attorney Ben David when asked for an update on the investigation into her murder said he was not aware of any recent developments that would necessitate a public news conference.
“We never stopped pursuing that case and I can tell you there are dedicated people within this agency and, I know, outside of this within law enforcement that are working with my prosecutors pretty regularly to see what we can do to develop that case to where it can be brought into a courtroom,” David said.
In a statement, Sheriff Alan Cutler said, “The investigation remains open and we continue to pursue appropriate criminal charges against the person(s) responsible for her death.”
While no one has been formally charged in connection with Fields' death, her uncle, David Wesley Prevatte, 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 was released from prison in January after serving approximately ten months.
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.
If you have any information regarding Paitin Fields' death, please contact the Pender County Sheriff’s Office at 910-259-1212.