Paighton Houston’s mother, Charlaine Houston says their family did not get the outcome they were looking for, but were relieved to know her daughter was no longer missing.
“We don’t have to go through the torture of not knowing what was happening to her and where she could be. God answered our prayers, he brought her home to us. I prayed that if she was already in heaven, I just had to know so my heart could put closure to the missing nightmare. Paighton is eternally home with Jesus,” she wrote in part on Facebook.
Paighton’s body was found in a shallow, muddy grave in the backyard of an unoccupied Alabama home on Friday, according to AL.com.
Authorities say she was wrapped in some sort of fabric, and her body was in tact. Paighton was found in Hueytown, about 13 miles west of where she was last seen in Birmingham.
Trussville Police said her remains were positively identified. The Jefferson County Coroner’s Officer has not yet released the cause or manner of her death.
Paighton, 29, went missing on Dec. 20 after going to the Tin Roof bar in Birmingham with friends and co-workers. Reportedly, she was last seen willingly leaving the bar with two heavyset men around 10:45 p.m.
About two hours later, she sent a troubling text to one of the friends she had been with. "I don't know who I'm with, so if I call, please answer. I feel in trouble," she wrote.
Charlaine told Inside Edition that not hearing from her daughter was very uncharacteristic. "She called when she got to work. She called when she went on break and then when she was leaving."
The family had even left their Christmas tree up with Paighton’s wrapped presents still underneath, in anticipation of her safe return.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is now leading the investigation. Paighton’s death has not yet been ruled a homicide.
A $10,000 reward had been offered for credible information leading to Paighton’s discovery. Half of the money was put up by Gov. Kay Ivey, the other half was contributed by CrimeStoppers.
“She touched the hearts of many in our efforts to bring her home and my heart is touched by everyone’s love for our family. God will be our strength in the hard days ahead as we go through finding out what happened and life without Paighton. Continue to pray for our family. We are so thankful to you all!” Charlaine wrote.