Authorities found Alabama woman Paighton Houston buried in a “small hole” around two weeks after she disappeared, and officials say that the help of credible tipsters led them to her.
“Crime Stoppers received several very good tips that were helpful in the Paighton Houston investigation and one or more persons will get a reward,” Chairman of Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama, Frank Barefield said, according to WBRC.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, on January 1, Governor Kay Ivey offered a $5,000 reward for valid information in connection with the case. Crime Stoppers also offered a $5,000 cash reward for valid information.
On January 3, investigators and officers with several different law enforcement agencies swarmed a small home in Bessemer, Alabama, off of Chapel Drive, where Houston’s body was ultimately found.
Crime Stoppers indicated that the names of the tipsters will not be released and any tips given will remain confidential.
Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynniece Washington confirmed that law enforcement officials found Houston’s wrapped in fabric. The body was of an “intact” female, found in a small hole in the “muddy, nasty” yard of the residence.
It’s unclear how or if Houston had any ties to the Chapel Drive residence. Neighbors indicated the home was once occupied by an elderly man. The man’s family moved him from the home for medical care and the residence has been unoccupied since.
Houston was last seen alive on December 20. A coworker reportedly said she went to the Tin Roof bar in downtown Birmingham with Houston after work on the night she vanished.
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.
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Sergeant Johnny Williams with the Birmingham Police Department said authorities did not see Houston on security footage with two men. They have not found anyone matching their descriptions, Williams added. 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.
According to Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Yates, additional testing is needed in order to determine Houston’s cause and manner of death.
So far, no arrests in connection with Houston’s death have been announced.
Funeral services for Houston have been scheduled for 11 a.m. CST on January 10, at the Clearbranch United Methodist Church in Trussville.
The story is developing. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Paighton Houston/Handout]