Fugitive found in Oregon, arrested in connection with death of Houston woman who went missing while celebrating her birthday

Jordan Potts, 26, was arrested in Oregon in connection with the death of a Houston woman, Houston police said.
Jordan Potts, 26, was arrested in Oregon in connection with the death of a Houston woman, Houston police said. (Multnomah County Jail)

A man charged with murder in connection with the death of a Houston woman reported missing in late July has been arrested, Houston police said.

Jordan Potts, 26, is accused in the death of Shawtyeria Waites, 21. Police said he was found in Gresham, Oregon on Wednesday and arrested by the Gresham Police Department.

Waites was last seen alive on July 25 at approximately 8 p.m. outside an apartment complex located in the 8900 block of Chimney Rock Road.

Earlier that night, she had been celebrating her birthday with two friends. While at a club, the women met a man, later identified as Potts, who invited them to his apartment complex in southwest Houston, Quanell X said during an Aug. 8 media briefing held with Waites’ parents.

Friends told Waites’ family that they dropped Waites off at the apartment complex before going to a nearby store to purchase makeup. When they returned to the complex, they could not find Waites or Potts.

The friends called Waites’ cell phone multiple times and at some point the calls began going directly to voicemail, Quanell X said.

Waites was reported missing on July 27 and the Houston Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit began investigating her disappearance.

RELATED: Have you seen Shawtyeria? Family frantic to find woman who went missing while celebrating her birthday

On Aug. 13, 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 the night she went missing, police said during a Monday news conference.

After Waites was killed, her body was placed in the trunk of Potts’ vehicle and transported from the location. On Friday, Aug. 27, police located Waites’ remains in Brookshire.

Formal identification is pending, though physical evidence indicated the remains are those of Waites, police said. The Harris County Institute of Forensic Science is conducting an autopsy.

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

Originally from New Mexico, Waites relocated to Houston to attend school at Prairie View A&M University, Quanell X said.

Police said Potts is originally from Oregon and may have ties in Montana. His vehicle remains with Houston police, who seized it as evidence. Potts has no previous criminal history in Harris County.

HPD’s Homicide Division held a briefing Monday, Aug. 30 to discuss the murder investigation. View the briefing it its entirety below.

An arrest warrant was issued for a man charged with murder in connection with the death of a Houston woman reported missing in late July, Houston police said.
An arrest warrant was issued for a man charged with murder in connection with the death of a Houston woman reported missing in late July, Houston police said.

Quanell X and Waites’ parents held a media briefing on Waites’ disappearance in early August. View the briefing in its entirety below.


About the Authors:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.