From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
HUEYTOWN — The Trussville Police Department confirmed the body found on Friday in Hueytown is that of missing Trussville woman Paighton Houston.
On Thursday evening, authorities from the Trussville Police Department, the Birmingham Police Department, the Hueytown Police Department, Jefferson County Deputies and units with the Metro Area Crime Center cordoned off a residential area on Chapel Drive near Love Street in Hueytown, after receiving information in the search for Houston.
At the scene, officers searched backyards with flashlights along Chapel Drive. Dozens of unmarked and marked cars along with K9 units were at the scene. The scene was secured around 9:30 p.m. while investigators awaited daylight.
The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office arrived on the scene around 11:30 a.m. on Friday. A white van pulled behind the house and left the scene at 12:50 p.m. At approximately 12:57 p.m., Bessemer Cutoff District District Attorney Lynneice Washington confirmed that a body was discovered in a shallow grave. Washington said the body was covered with a sheet before being buried.
“We have more questions than answers right now,” Chief Deputy David Agee said.
Houston was reported missing after leaving Tin Roof in Birmingham, late on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. She was seen leaving with two men, according to Birmingham Police, who are investigating the case.
Police said after leaving the bar, she texted a friend saying that she did not know who she was with and that she might be in trouble.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey joined Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama in offering a $5,000 reward for information regarding the disappearance of Houston.
“Unfortunately, another female is missing in the state of Alabama,” Ivey said. “The whereabouts of Paighton Laine Houston have been unknown since Friday, December 20. In the midst of the busy holiday season, it is critical that we support Paighton, her family and law enforcement to ensure we do everything possible to bring her home. I am issuing a $5,000 reward to help encourage anyone with credible information to contact the appropriate authorities and help make that happen.”
Houston’s family has been notified about the identification of the body.