Officials announced Friday that a body found in a shallow grave behind a Hueytown residence is that of Paighton Houston.
Trussville police confirmed the identity, although the cause and manner of death are still pending.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Houston family as they begin the grieving process,” Trussville Det. Ben Short said, according to Al.com.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, a tip in connection to Paighton led authorities to Hueytown on Thursday. On Friday morning, the Jefferson County Coroner and Jefferson County District Attorney, Danny Carr, arrived at the residence off of Chapel Drive, near the corner of Love Street.
At around 1:55 p.m., Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynniece Washington confirmed that a body wrapped in fabric was exhumed from a shallow hole. The body was of an “intact” female.
Hueytown is around 15 miles south of the Tin Roof bar in Birmingham, the last place Paighton was supposedly last seen.
A coworker reportedly said she went to the Tin Roof bar with Houston on December 20 after they got off work. Someone later contacted Houston’s family and said Houston was last seen leaving the bar at around 10:45 p.m. with “two heavy set black males.” Houston’s family then called 911 and relayed the information.
According to Sergeant Johnny Williams with the Birmingham Police Department, authorities did not see Houston on security footage with two men. They have not found anyone matching their descriptions, Williams said. It’s unclear whether police spotted Houston on security footage at all.
Friends posted on social media that Houston didn’t know the men she left with. Later that night, she reportedly sent a text message to a friend indicating that she could be in trouble.
“idk who im with so if I call please answer. I feel in trouble,” the text message said, according to Trussville Tribune.
So far, there have been no arrests. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Paighton Houston/Handout]