New Details Emerge in Case Against Suspect Arrested in Death of Venango County Woman

| July 30, 2019

POLK BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – New details have emerged in the case against a Polk man arrested in connection with the death of an Emlenton woman.

According to court documents, Franklin-based State Police filed criminal charges against 48-year-old Clayton James Hindman in Magisterial District Judge Patrick E. Lowrey’s office on July 27.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred sometime between July 3, 2019, and July 25, 2019, at a residence located at 101 Hillcrest Avenue, Polk Borough, Venango County.

According to a criminal complaint filed on July 27 by Trooper Johnson, of Franklin-based State Police, the Borough of Polk Police Department was contacted around 12:30 p.m. on July 25 by a known Knox female to check on the welfare of her father, Clayton James Hindman, of 110 Hillcrest Avenue.

The known female indicated that she had not heard from her father in several weeks.

Upon the arrival of Polk Borough Police Officers, they found the residence locked and a foul odor coming from inside.

Hindman’s motorcycle was present at the scene, but his truck was not.

The Polk Police Department tried calling the telephone number they had for Hindman, and it rang straight to voicemail and then the department made contact with the landlord who met them at the residence at 4:30 p.m.

Officers were granted entry into the residence by the landlord, as no occupants would open the door and the doors were locked. Upon entry, a deceased female was discovered lying on her back on the floor of the living room, severely decomposed. The female was completely covered with a blanket except that her legs from the knees down were sticking out from under the blanket. The Venango County Coroner estimated the victim had been deceased for a few weeks.

The Venango County District Attorney’s Office and PSP also responded to the scene. Upon PSP arrival, they were requested to handle the investigation by the Venango County District Attorney.

A search warrant was obtained, and the residence was processed and searched.

According to the complaint, it was noted the deceased female was grasping a pistol in her left hand and the gun was on “safe.” There were several drops of blood located on the floor between the living room and kitchen area. A human tooth was found on the kitchen floor near the furthest droplet of blood located away from the victim.

The deceased is believed to be 38-year-old Salina Poppy Chilson, of Parker, (pictured above) who was reported missing to the Borough of Emlenton Police Department on July 3, 2019.

The female had a necklace that looked like the one Chilson was wearing when she was reported missing. Chilson’s purse and driver’s license were also located at the scene.

Interviews with Chilson’s associates determined that Chilson was right-handed.

Several interviews were conducted with Hindman’s associates, and he hadn’t been seen at or near his house in several weeks. Several weeks of mail were located in Hindman’s mailbox.

Further investigation revealed the residence was rented by Clayton Hindman. This was determined through several pieces of mail and confirmed by the landlord. Within the mail, several bills were located, including bills from Verizon Wireless. Police were provided with a telephone number from Hindman’s associates which is also one of the telephone numbers on the Verizon Wireless bills located at the scene.

According to the complaint, Hindman’s mother was interviewed on July 26, 2019, and she provided PSP with screenshots of a Facebook conversation she had with Valerie Frampton on July 25. Frampton lives in the state of Missouri and is believed to be Hindman’s most recent girlfriend. The messages between Frampton and Hindman’s mother indicated Frampton had contact with Hindman. Frampton sent messages to Hindman’s mother indicated he would contact his family soon, and “it’s bad” and “he would explain later,” the complaint indicates.

On July 27, an autopsy was performed in Pittsburgh by Pathologist Ennis. During the autopsy, a shell casing and bullet were located. It was also noted the victim’s lower jawbone was broken in three places, the complaint states.

On July 27, at 11:11 a.m., Clayton Hindman called PSP Franklin to let the station know he was turning himself in to the Ava County Sheriff’s Office in Missouri, according to the complaint.

Hindman was with Frampton in the parking lot of of the Ava County Sheriff’s Office at the time of the call. While talking to Hindman on the phone, he said he was “freaking out and just scared” but he didn’t want to say much without talking to an attorney. Trooper Johnson asked Hindman if he had any questions for him, and he said: “No, I know I’m in trouble.” Hindman said he will be there waiting on Trooper Johnson and that Frampton just found out about it, according to the complaint.

Hindman also made the comment he was “running scared there for a minute” and his girlfriend (Frampton) talked him into doing the right thing and turning himself in, the complaint states.

On July 27, Hindman was detained by the Ava County Sheriff’s Office following his conversation with Trooper Johnson.

On July 27, members from the Ava County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Frampton. During the interview, Frampton stated Hindman told her “he killed (someone) inside of his apartment.”

Frampton learned of the missing woman from Emlenton and became suspicious, so she talked Hindman into turning himself in, the complaint states.

On Monday, July 29, Trooper Michelle-McGee Morrison of the Franklin-based State Police, told that the body has yet to be positively identified.

A call to Venango County Coroner Christina Rugh on Monday, July 29, went unreturned.

Rugh did tell the Butler Eagle that the autopsy performed on Friday was “unable to determine the identification or a cause or manner of death.” Rugh did, however, say that while an identification could not be made “there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence pointing to an identification” without saying what that identification might be.

Court documents indicate PSP Franklin filed the following charges against Hindman:

– Aggravated Assault, Felony 1
– Possession Instrument Of Crime W/Intent, Misdemeanor 1
– Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2
– Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2

He is awaiting a preliminary hearing.

Police haven’t ruled out filing additional charges against Hindman.

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