Crime

Woman found dead on stairwell outside a Fort Worth church; 21-year-old man arrested

Fort Worth police release 2018 crime stats

In 2018, the number of Crimes Against Persons dipped 5.3 percent compared to 2017, according to the Fort Worth Police Department.
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In 2018, the number of Crimes Against Persons dipped 5.3 percent compared to 2017, according to the Fort Worth Police Department.

Fort Worth police have arrested a man after a woman was found dead outside a church.

When police got the call on Saturday morning, the woman may have already been dead, according to authorities.

Officers were dispatched on a call about a possibly deceased person in the 800 block of West Fifth Street, near downtown, shortly after 8:45 a.m. When they arrived, they found the woman, who suffered what was described as major head trauma.

A police report identified the victim as Vanessa Faye Mayfield, 31. Mayfield was found at the base of a stairwell outside of a church building in the 400 block of Burnett Street.

A friend of hers, Donnell Ballard, said Mayfield had been homeless for some time, but had just had a new baby.

Another friend, LaToya Stevens, said she ran into Mayfield at the LeAnn Rimes concert in Sundance Square on Thursday night. Stevens described Mayfield as happy that night. Mayfield told her that a couple had taken her to a store and bought some clothing for her, and also paid for her to spend a night at a motel, Stevens said.

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Vanessa Mayfield, 31, was found dead Saturday outside a church in the 300 block of Burnett Street. Donnell Ballard

Mayfield said she had been sleeping outside on nearby church property. Stevens said she encouraged Mayfield to seek out one of the homeless shelters.

“I told her that it was dangerous and that she couldn’t sleep out there on that property,” Stevens said. “But she didn’t listen to me.”

Homicide detectives have placed Jared Seavey, a 21-year-old suspect, in custody and he is facing a charge of murder, according to police records.

Bond for Seavey has been set at $150,000, jail records show.

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Mitch Mitchell is an award-winning reporter covering courts and crime for the Star-Telegram. Additionally, Mitch’s past coverage on municipal government, healthcare and social services beats allow him to bring experience and context to the stories he writes.
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