26-year-old Federalist reporter and Fox News pundit killed by ‘sudden illness’
A conservative journalist and pundit has died suddenly, just days after she broke a news story alleging that special counsel Robert Mueller and his team had deleted evidence proving anti-Trump bias at the FBI and Justice Department.
26-year-old Bre Payton was considered a rising star, working as a staff writer at The Federalist, co-hosting the “Problematic Women” podcast, and frequently appearing as a guest on outlets like Fox News Channel, Fox Business Channel, and One America News Network.
Bre was found, unresponsive and barely breathing, by her friend in San Diego last week.
The 26-year-old California native was admitted to the ICU at a local hospital on early on Thursday morning and tragically passed away on Friday.
“Around 8:30, on December 27th, Bre’s friend went into her room and found her unresponsive and barely breathing,” reads “Bre’s Story” on CaringBridge.org.
“She immediately called 911 and Bre was taken to the hospital where she was admitted to the ICU, sedated & intubated, and doctors began working up a diagnosis.”
George Payton, Bre’s father, stayed with her at the hospital as she fought for her life, though, tragically, her condition worsened and she slipped away on Friday.
“From the moment we started talking I realized she was a potential star,” Ben Domenech, of The Federalist, said in a touching eulogy on Saturday.
“She was raw, yes, but that could be honed. She was eager to learn, to write, and to go places—not because of ambition, but because she wanted to change the world.”
Bre Payton embodied fearless journalism; uninterested in pushing narratives and unafraid to tackle subjects that truly mattered to the people.
On December 13th, The Federalist published one of Payton’s hard-hitting pieces, entitled, “DOJ Destroyed Missing Strzok/Page Text Messages Before The IG Could Review Them.”
Payton’s article broke the story that special council Robert Mueller and his team may have deleted text messages from the phones of disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok and ex-Justice Department lawyer Lisa Page in an attempt to conceal evidence of anti-Trump bias at the departments during the ongoing Russia probe.
Unlike the mainstream media networks, who pushed the idea that there was “no evidence” the texts were deliberately destroyed, Payton raised questions of whether there was criminal intent in these deletions, a notion supported by President Trump.
Bre Payton passed away from a sudden illness. Bre is one of the kindest, most thoughtful souls I’ve ever encountered. She made a positive impact on every person she met, her smile, her love of LIFE, God, & passion for news was contagious. SHE WILL be missed! Pray for her family. pic.twitter.com/fPjifm65QS
— Stephanie Hamill (@STEPHMHAMILL) December 28, 2018
Wednesday, December 26th: Bre Payton was visiting San Diego from her home in Washinton, DC, to appear as a guest host on a show on the One America News Network.
Her last social media post was a tweet announcing to followers that her show was being broadcast “right now.”
At this point, it appears as though as is well with Bre Payton.
— Bre Payton (@Bre_payton) December 27, 2018
Thursday, December 27th: While in San Diego, Bre was staying with good friend Morgan Murtaugh.
Morgan found Payton unconscious in her bed around 8:30 am, as disclosed in this tweet:
24 hours ago I found my friend unconscious and called 911. She’s been in a coma since and really needs a miracle right now. Please, if you’re religious at all, send prayers this way. We really need them. https://t.co/QqeXn0N6g2
— Morgan Murtaugh (@morganmurtaugh) December 28, 2018
Friday, December 28th: By Friday morning, Bre had reportedly passed away.
A page for Bre on the Caring Bridge website – a site that gives updated information on people in hospital – seems to be where Bre’s death was first revealed.
This was the page that Murtaugh had referred to in her tweet above, although at the time she tweeted it, it had obviously not declared that Bre had passed away.
There is no way of checking what it had said at that time as the website only shows the latest update, which currently, it reads as follows:
Around 8:30, on December 27th, Bre’s friend went into her room and found her unresponsive and barely breathing. She immediately called 911 and Bre was taken to the hospital where she was admitted to the ICU, sedated & intubated, and doctors began working up a diagnosis. After a CT scan and hours of testing, they have determined she has the H1N1 flu and meningitis. George stayed at the hospital with her in San Diego for a long time, but her condition worsened and worsened.
She fought her illness with strength but, passed on December 28th, 2018. She will be survived by her four siblings and parents. She fought strong and lived a life worth noting in the books. We are so incredibly honored to have known this wonderful human being.
Judging by the publically available information, neither Morgan Murtaugh or Bre herself, made any mention of anything wrong on Wednesday night.
We are therefore left to assume that a healthy, vibrant 26-year old girl became fully incapacitated during a night’s sleep without showing any prior symptoms, and was dead 24 hours later, with doctors reporting that she had contracted Swine Flu (H1N1) and meningitis.
A New York Times obituary for Bre Payton said that “Ms. Payton had the H1N1 flu, also known as the swine flu, and encephalitis, according to her family.”
So, is it encephalitis or meningitis?
There appears to be no actual answer as to the cause of her death; whether it was one of these illnesses or the H1N1 flu?
I love and miss @Bre_payton so very much. So immensely grateful for her. Thank you everyone for the support and kind words. Hug your loved ones.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) December 29, 2018
A passion for truth, purpose, and life
“In loving memory of Bre’s beautiful light, joyful spirit, hard-working ethics, and compassionate heart,” says the GoFundMe page.
“This fund will go towards college scholarships to support other young, rising Christian leaders who share in Bre’s passion for truth, purpose, and life.”
Bre “has gone to be with the Lord,” it adds.
“Her memory will live on by her four siblings and parents. At this time we ask that you keep her family uplifted in prayer and know that we will see her again.”
Bre is survived by four younger siblings, James, Jack, Christina, and Cheekie; her parents George and Cindy; and her boyfriend Ryan Colby.
Please consider donating to the scholarship fund, here.