by Katrina Hapner, contributing writer for Telegraph Local
Paighton Houston, the 29-year-old woman who went missing in Alabama, has been found deceased in a backyard shallow grave. Houston was last seen alive on December 20th, leaving the Tin Roof Bar in Birmingham, Alabama. At 10:45 that night she left the bar accompanied by two heavy-set black males. Reports say that she was originally at the bar with co-workers and friends, who stated they did not believe the victim knew the men she left with.
Shortly after midnight that night, Houston texted a friend saying, “idk who im with so if I call please answer. I feel in trouble”. Her mother and friends of course found this text extremely concerning. Family stated that her bank account was unused, and her phone was going immediately to voicemail since her disappearance. Pleas were made by her mother on Facebook, pleading for any information, “Someone knows something, and we have to bring her home”, she stated.
The Governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey, had even issued a reward of $5,000 for information regarding Houston’s disappearance. Crime Stoppers offered to match that same reward for information. Houston worked as an account manager at a trucking company in Birmingham. Investigators from the Trussville Police Department issued a statement that they had discovered a body matching Houston’s description in a shallow grave behind a home in Hueytown, Alabama, which is about 13 miles west of Birmingham.
District Attorney for Bessemer Cutoff District of Jefferson County, Lynneice Washington, made a statement on Friday that police were directed to the home in Hueytown after receiving a tip. During a search of the backyard Police found intact female remains wrapped in cloth in a muddy grave. At first authorities would not confirm if it was Houston’s body or not, but the remains were taken to the coroner’s office and later confirmed. The home where Houston’s remains were found is located on Love Street and according to neighbors, used to be home to an elderly male who was recently sent to a long care facility by family members. A search warrant was obtained and the property remains a taped off crime scene.
The Sheriff’s Office in Jefferson County has now taken the lead in the investigation. Chief Deputy, David Agee told reporters ahead of the discovery of Houston’s body that, “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”. After the discovery, Agee stated, “Right now, we have a lot more questions than answers, but we hope to have those answers soon.”
A statement of condolence was issued by the Police Department to the family of Houston, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Houston family as they begin the grieving process.” Charlaine Houston, the mother of the victim stated in a Facebook post, “Our family didn’t get the news we had hoped for, but I am very grateful that Paighton is coming home. We don’t have to go through the torture of not knowing what was happening to her and where she could be. I just had to know so my heart could put closure to the missing nightmare.”