Mom of missing woman opens up a year after her disappearance, still no closure

A Houston woman’s body is still missing a year after her former roommate was charged with murder.

A year to the day since Brittany Burfield vanished from her Southwest Houston home, her alleged murderer remains in jail, but her body has never been found.

The 37-year-old vanished from her apartment on Ilona Lane on June 25, 2018. It was later found ransacked.

The next day, her mom began receiving strange texts from Brittany’s phone.

“‘Mom, I met a guy, and I’m down at Seabrook,”’ Tricia Valentine said, recalling one of her daughter’s texts. “Brittany would never do that.”

Tricia says that’s the moment she knew something was wrong.

“I knew that when I started getting texts, that they were from her killer; they weren’t from her,” said Valentine.

She never saw her daughter again.

In the interview with FOX 26 a year later, Valentine sat in her dining room, which was converted into a command post in the search for Burfield last summer. The sticky notes and photos of Brittany are still hung under the banner reading “Team Binky”—Burfield’s nickname.

“The longer it goes, the harder it is,” said Valentine. “To make us go through this for a year and not have closure.”

Court records show Brittany’s alleged killer, Alex Haggerty, was arrested three weeks after her disappearance, and a grand jury indicted him for murder in October 2018. The indictment says he killed Brittany by shooting, stabbing, strangling her, and causing her to ingest a controlled substance, yet her body has not been found.

“There’s no reason for him not to tell us,” said Valentine. “Saving that as a bargaining chip doesn’t make any sense.”

Valentine says Haggerty was an acquaintance, and Burfield allowed him and his girlfriend to move into her apartment when she needed a roommate. Once he was there, she found out he was fresh out of prison, having served an aggravated robbery sentence.

“She said, ‘But I thought he had been in jail 15 years ago,’” Valentine said, recalling her conversation with her daughter. “‘It wasn’t until he was living with me that I found out that he had served 15 years.'"

Valentine says Burfield kicked Haggerty out of the apartment, and he moved into a tent in his uncle’s back yard. A month after Haggerty had moved into the tent, Burfield went missing.

When police found some of her belongings in the back yard where Haggerty’s tent was pitched, they arrested him.

Valentine says she’s been to every court hearing, including the last one, where the defense filed a motion she wasn’t expecting.

“An evaluation for criminal insanity, and that just rocked my world,” said Valentine. “I couldn’t get out of that court house fast enough and get to my truck, and I just fell apart.”

The next hearing in the case is July 2.

Valentine planned to have a celebration of life for her daughter the night of June 25, 2019.

Police say anyone with information on where Brittany Burfield’s body is located is asked to call the Houston Police Homicide Division at 713-308-3600.