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She Sent a Troubling Text. Now, a 'Heartbreaking' Find

Alabama police say body discovered in shallow grave is 29-year-old Paighton Houston
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2020 6:30 AM CST

(Newser) – She disappeared the Friday before Christmas after being seen leaving a bar in Birmingham, Ala., with two men. Now, what People calls a "heartbreaking end": Cops say they found the body of 29-year-old Paighton Houston in a shallow grave in the backyard of a home in Hueytown. In a statement cited by WVTM, the Trussville Police Department said on Thursday it had "developed information on a possible location for [Houston's] remains." Investigators showed up at the home, which is said to be unoccupied, on Friday morning and recovered Houston's remains in the "muddy, nasty" yard by early afternoon, per AL.com. Neighbors say an elderly man used to live at the residence but had left some time back in the care of familly members.

Those who knew Houston had been especially concerned because after midnight on the night she vanished, she'd sent a text to a friend that said: "idk who im with so if I call please answer. I feel in trouble." Per Birmingham police, she was said to have left the Tin Roof bar willingly with two heavyset black males. The Jefferson County coroner's office hasn't revealed the cause and manner of death, though local DA Lynneice Washington says Houston's intact body was wrapped in some type of fabric. Houston's death is still being investigated, and police aren't saying at this time that it was a homicide. "Right now we have a lot more questions than answers, but we hope to have those answers real soon," a Jefferson County Sheriff's Office rep says. (Read more missing woman stories.)

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