The man who died Monday in what authorities say was a murder-suicide in Moore was the father of a woman whose disappearance made national news 13 years ago.
Tamika Huston, 24, was reported missing from Spartanburg in 2004. Her remains were found in 2005 after her ex-boyfriend, Christopher Lamont Hampton, now 36, confessed to killing her. Hampton was sentenced to life in prison in 2006.
Anthony Huston, Tamika’s father, was found dead inside his Moore home Monday morning. His wife, Joanne Brown Huston, was rushed to a hospital where she also died Monday. Both died of gunshot wounds.
Authorities have not yet released a motive in the shootings. Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Kevin Bobo said Tuesday he did not know which person fired the shots or how many shots were fired.
Mike Fowler of Spartanburg said he was a close friend of Anthony Huston’s and was saddened by the news of his death.
“He was a very smart man, an industrious man, very successful, a great guy. He always had a smile that would light up a room,” Fowler said.
Fowler said he was close to Anthony Huston during the search for Huston's daughter. Tamika Huston was Anthony Huston's daughter from a previous relationship.
“I was with him that time, that whole time. We went all over the place. After that, when he found his daughter, he started deteriorating,” Fowler said. “He didn’t do well after that. There was a vacancy left there.”
Fowler said he didn't notice any problems in the Hustons' marriage.
“They were a loving couple with big beautiful smiles on their faces. That’s what I remember. That’s what I’m always going to remember with my good friend,” Fowler said. “You don’t know the issues the person next door to you is having … You don’t know what someone is battling over years or months or weeks.”
Spartanburg County Councilman and criminal defense attorney Michael Brown said he came to know Joanne Huston when a relative of hers was in need of legal advice.
“I got to know her and her family then. She had the sweetest disposition, a great sense of humor and always had a smile on her face,” Brown said. “I’m blown away. I could never imagine under the circumstances that that would be the end of either one of their lives.”
Anthony Huston was the owner of Economy Electrical Inc. Joanne Hudson had been employed with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, but hadn’t worked for the hospital since 2014, hospital spokeswoman Jessica Pickens said in an email.
Tamika Huston’s disappearance made national news at the time and her case was featured in several national television programs.
A public records request for the 911 call from Monday’s murder-suicide was denied by the Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office, citing an ongoing investigation.
An incident report from the Monday deaths was not released by Tuesday afternoon.