The body of a former Gig Harbor woman who had been missing from her Oregon home was found Tuesday in a wooded area near a small town in Yamhill County.
Investigators said there was no evidence of foul play in the mystery that gripped the Pacific Northwest for nearly two weeks.
Police said a property owner in Sheridan, Oregon, found Jennifer Huston’s green 1999 Lexus SUV on a rural road about 25 miles southwest of her home in Dundee, near Newberg. The vehicle did not appear to have been in a crash, and detectives found Huston’s body less than 50 yards away, said Capt. Jeff Kosmickee of Newberg-Dundee police.
Huston graduated from Gig Harbor High School and moved to Oregon with her husband about eight years ago. At various times, the family had lived in Lakewood and Dupont.
Kosmicki said the case remains an active investigation, but he noted there was no sign of foul play and nothing to indicate the public was in danger. He declined to say if investigators believe Huston took her own life or suffered some type of medical emergency. The cause of death could be released as early as Wednesday (Aug. 6).
“We’re keeping an open mind, but I think we’ve got a pretty good idea of what happened,” Kosmicki said.
The 38-year-old mother of two young boys disappeared July 24, sparking an intense search and extensive Internet speculation. Kosmicki said he was fairly certain search helicopters had flown over the Sheridan property where the vehicle was found.
“As you know, a lot of Yamhill County is pretty rural and wooded areas,” he said. “So that would make it absolutely difficult to find.”
Video footage from that day she disappeared showed her withdrawing a small amount of money from an ATM, fueling her SUV and buying Gatorade, trail mix and what police described as a nonlethal amount of sleeping pills. She was discovered Tuesday wearing the same clothes she wore July 24.
Her husband, Kallen Huston, told reporters shortly after his wife disappeared that she had complained of headaches in recent days. The couple would have celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary next week.
The Huston family, through police, said it wanted to be left alone to grieve.