Neighbors shocked to learn of Trenton murder

Joanna Hull (Courtesy Middletown Jail)
Joanna Hull (Courtesy Middletown Jail)

By Sara Gouedy - bio | email



The small town of Trenton is reeling after a 911 call from Joanna Hull claiming that she had killed her boyfriend.

Members of Keith Peyton's family did not want to talk about the case, but plenty of other people in Trenton are talking, including neighbors who say they never saw this coming.

"It's just, you don't know people," said Dennis Harden.

Seeing police outside his neighbor's door isn't something Harden will ever forget.

He calls himself friendly with both Hull and Peyton, so he can't believe the murder charges against her.

"They were just typical, Trenton, laid back people is what they was," said Harden.

Harden and many of the people on Oak Avenue say they last saw Peyton on Monday.

Police say sometime after that, Joanna killed her boyfriend by hitting him on the head.

Police spent much of Thursday gathering evidence.

"How did you do it ma'am?" asks the dispatcher on the 911 call.

"I don't remember sir." replies Hull.

"You don't remember how you did it?" the dispatcher asks.

"It was a--I just don't remember," she says.

During the 911 call Hull made to police Wednesday night, she told police Peyton had been dead a week, that he was in the bathtub, and she had a confession all written out.

The Butler County coroner says Peyton had definitely been dead at least two days.

"That creeps me out. I mean just totally, it creeps me out," said another neighbor, Laura Simkow.

Police say because Peyton had been dead so long, Joanna's also charged with abuse of a corpse.

Meanwhile, neighbors in this part of Trenton wonder what could have happened in the hours before his death.

"It's just, ugh, I can't imagine it," said Simkow, shuddering.

UPDATE: Police also say the girlfriend of the victim, Joanna Hull, 42, called 911 saying she killed him. Hull has now been charged with his death.

The victim has been identified as Keith Austin Peyton, 47. Police say he died of blunt force trauma and had been dead for two to 10 days.

Hull is charged with aggravated murder, abuse of corpse and tampering with evidence.

UPDATE: Trenton police have confirmed to FOX19 that the investigation is a homicide.

FOX19 will provide more information as it becomes available.

PREVIOUSLY: Trenton police are looking into the suspicious death of a man.

Officers responded to a home on Oak Avenue around 10 p.m. Wednesday night and found a man's body inside.

The Butler County coroner is trying to figure out how the man died. No other details have been released.