Paighton Laine Houston was last seen on Dec. 20 at Tin Roof in the Lakeview District of Birmingham, Alabama

By Robyn Merrett
January 03, 2020 08:56 PM
Advertisement
Paighton Houston
Facebook

The search for a 29-year-old missing woman, who was last seen at an Alabama bar and had texted a friend ‘I feel in trouble,’ has come to a heartbreaking end after police found her body in a shallow grave in Hueytown.

Police made the troubling discovery early Friday morning after “securing” the area, which was behind an abandoned home on Chapel Drive, WVTM-TV and CBS 42 reported. The body has been identified as belonging to Paighton Laine Houston.

“On 1/2/2020 detectives with the Trussville Police Department along with investigators with the Metro Area Crime Center developed information on a possible location for the remains of Paighton Houston,” Trussville Police Department shared in a statement obtained by WVTM-TV.

“That information was shared with the Birmingham Police Department and investigators arrived on the scene and discovered what appeared to be a shallow grave. Law enforcement secured the area and a search was conducted this morning (1/3/2020) in which human remains were located behind a residence on Chapel Dr. Those remains have been identified as Paighton Houston. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Houston family as they begin the grieving process,” the statement concluded.

When uncovering Houston’s remains, police discovered her body wrapped in an unidentified fabric, Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington told Alabama.com.

Paighton Houston
Facebook

Residents of the area informed police that an elderly man had once lived at the home, but his family moved him out after he was unable to care for himself, Alabama.com reported.

Houston’s cause of death has not yet been revealed to the public.

Her death remains under investigation and at this time police say it has not been ruled a homicide.

“Right now we have a lot more questions than answers, but we hope to have those answers real soon,” Jefferson County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy David Agee said to Alabama.com.

Both the Birmingham Police Department and the Trussville Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Houston had been missing since before Christmas after she was last seen on Dec. 20 at Tin Roof in the Lakeview District of Birmingham with two men, according to Alabama.com. Officials said she left with them willingly.

The Trussville Tribune reported that Huston sent a text message to a friend just after midnight on the day she vanished that said, “Idk who im with so if I call please answer. I feel in trouble.”

Houston’s mother, Charlaine Houston, said on Facebook that Paighton’s bank account has not been accessed in over 24 hours and her phone is going directly to voicemail.

“WE NEED PRAYERS! We still have not heard anything! We are worried sick,” Charlaine wrote.

RELATED: Campus Murder Mystery: Who Killed 2 Students at a Famed College for the Hearing-Impaired?

The Tin Roof shared a statement on Instagram saying the bar has been in contact with Birmingham police and has shared all the information they have about Houston’s disappearance.

Houston’s mother remained hopeful throughout the search, sharing a message on Friday “BRING PAIGHTON HOME”

“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!??” Charlaine wrote.