'I feel in trouble': Police find body of woman who sent distress text before disappearing

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HUEYTOWN, Ala. — Alabama police found the body of a woman missing since December 20 on Friday.

Paighton Houston disappeared after leaving a Birmingham bar, her family said. She texted a coworker that she was with strangers and felt she was in trouble.

The body of a woman was found Friday in a shallow grave behind a house in Hueytown, Alabama, Trussville Police Detective Ben Short said in a statement.

The remains were positively identified as Houston’s and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate her death, Short said.

Trussville police and the Metro Area Crime Center developed information Thursday that led police to the house in Hueytown, Short said.

‘I don’t know these people’

Houston, 29, lived in Trussville, roughly a 15-mile drive northeast of downtown Birmingham.

She was visiting the Tin Roof bar in Birmingham the night she disappeared, her family says. She was last seen leaving the bar with two heavyset black men, Birmingham police say.

She appeared to have left the bar willingly with the two men, police say.

“If I call answer, I don’t know these people and I feel in trouble,” the text reads, according to her mother, Charlaine Houston. Paighton Houston had driven to the bar with the coworker earlier in the day, her mother wrote.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey offered a $5,000 reward for credible information in the search for Houston. Crime Stoppers also offered a $5,000 reward.

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