Houston police searching for man suspected of killing Prairie View A&M student

Authorities believe Jordan Potts killed Shawtyeria Waites, a college student, on the night she celebrated her 21st birthday.

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An arrest warrant has now been issued for a suspect in the murder of Houston college student Shawtyeria Waites, who went missing after celebrating her 21st birthday in July and was later found slain. 

Houston Police Department officials announced in a Monday press conference that they are seeking the arrest of a 26-year-old man named Jordan Potts. 

Waites was last seen on July 25 wearing a pink dress and pink sandals returning to her apartment after celebrating her birthday with friends. She was reported missing two days later. 

Police believe that Waites may have met Potts on social media or a dating app and that she was killed inside his apartment, her body recovered later at a second location. Evidence of Waites’ murder has reportedly been found in the trunk of Potts’ vehicle. 

Shawtyeria Waites Credit: Houston Police

“I really want to offer heartfelt condolences to Shawtyeria Waites’ family,” said Lt. W.L. Meeler. “Having your child taken away from you like this is unacceptable.”

According to a local report, investigators found evidence of foul play regarding Waites’ disappearance, and the case was assigned to the HPD Homicide Division. Homicide detectives obtained “significant physical evidence” Waites was killed inside Potts’ apartment, likely on the night she went missing. 

Houston activist Quanell X, who has been acting as a spokesperson for the family, said Waites is originally from New Mexico and relocated to Houston to attend college at Prairie View A&M University. 

Potts is originally from Oregon and has family ties in Montana. His vehicle is currently in the custody of Houston police. Without it, he is running from police, they say, and is considered armed and potentially dangerous. 

Police in Houston have issued an arrest warrant for Jordan Potts, 26 (above), the suspect in the murder of Prairie view A&M student Shawtyeria Waites.(Houston Police Department)

According to a report from ABC 13, Houston is facing its worst crime spike in years. Total crime is up in the city by 30% year-to-date, compared to 2019. 

In addition, statistics show response times for police have been dramatically slower.

There are also nearly 100 fewer officers on duty in the city. Many HPD officers have retired amid the coronavirus pandemic, plus enrollment at the Houston Police Academy has waned. 

The crimes that have significantly increased in Houston since 2019 include murder, sexual assault with an object, welfare fraud, gambling equipment violations, theft of motor vehicle accessories and weapons law violations.

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