Paighton Houston found: Missing Trussville, Alabama woman found buried in shallow grave in backyard of abandoned house in Hueytown after acting on tip.
Authorities say a female body found in a shallow grave has been identified as missing Alabama woman Paighton Laine Houston, who texted a friend that she could be ‘in trouble’ after leaving a Birmingham bar with two men on December 20, 2019.
The Trussville Police Department confirmed late Friday that the discovered body had been identified as Paighton Houston, 29. The department in a release to AL said investigators recovered the body in the backyard of a home in Hueytown, about 13 miles west of Birmingham.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the Houston family as they begin the grieving process,’ police said in the statement.
Of note – the cause and manner of Houston’s death has not been made public. It was also mentioned the ‘death investigation’ noted Houston’s body being intact.
‘I feel in trouble….’
Lynneice Washington, district attorney for the Bessemer Cutoff District of Jefferson County, told the Birmingham News that Houston’s intact body was wrapped in some sort of fabric. Investigators began searching the area after receiving tips in the case, she said.
Houston, of Trussville, left the Tin Roof bar with the men and later texted a friend asking the person to answer if she called because she didn’t know who she was with and ‘I feel in trouble,’ according to family members.
Friday’s macabre discovery follows, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey in recent days issuing a $5,000 reward for information in Houston’s disappearance, while another $5,000 in reward money was being offered by Crime Stoppers.
‘Unfortunately, another female is missing in the state of Alabama,’ Ivey said. ‘The whereabouts of Paighton Laine Houston have been unknown since Friday, December 20. In the midst of the busy holiday season, it is critical that we support Paighton, her family and law enforcement to ensure we do everything possible to bring her home. I am issuing a $5,000 reward to help encourage anyone with credible information to contact the appropriate authorities and help make that happen.’
‘We have a lot more questions than answers, but we hope to have those answers soon,’
A day prior to Houston’s body being found, the apparent victim’s mother, Charlaine Houston, linked to a story about the Hueytown search on her Facebook page.
‘Bring Paighton home,’ she posted on Friday before the discovery of the body was reported.
‘It’s always hard whenever you find remains of a person because there are family members. … The only thing we can do at this point is to try to give them justice,’ Washington said before the body was identified.
Come Friday afternoon, the distressed mother posted, ‘They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength, They shall mount up with wings of Eagles, They shall run and not be weary walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 BRING PAIGHTON HOME!💛🙏❤’
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is taking the lead in the investigation, Chief Deputy David Agee told reporters.
‘Right now, we have a lot more questions than answers, but we hope to have those answers soon,’ Agee said.
Neighbors told the Birmingham News the home belonged to an elderly man who no longer lives there. It’s unclear who, if anyone, lives there now and how Houston’s body came to be buried there.
No suspects or arrests were immediately pending.