NEWBERG, Ore. – Jennifer Huston, the missing 38-year-old stay-at-home mom from Dundee whose body was found Tuesday, committed suicide, the Newberg-Dundee Police Department said late Wednesday afternoon.
Police said she died of asphyxiation. Results from toxicology tests are still pending.
Huston disappeared Friday, July 25. Her disappearance triggered a massive multi-state search for her and her green Lexus SUV.
Her body was found Aug. 5 in a rural area of Sheridan near Deer Creek Park after a property owner spotted her SUV on a secondary driveway in a heavily forested area. After a search of the area, detectives found her body about 40 yards from her vehicle.
Huston’s husband, Kallen, had said it was highly unusual for the mother of two to disappear. On the night she was last seen, she stopped for gas, then stopped again for trail mix, Gatorade and sleeping pills.
Police said they found an empty box of sleeping pills and inside her SUV they found a note addressed to her family. It's unclear how many of the pills she actually took, or what role they may have played in her death. Police also found a gas receipt from the Circle-K gas station in Newberg, her personal items and her cellphone.
Based on the evidence, police said she died close to the time she was reported missing.
Thousands of people helped search for Huston since she went missing on Thursday, July 24. Many people, including family, friends, and strangers, searched for her on the ground in both Oregon and Washington.
Tens of thousands of people shared information about Jennifer through social media. Many of those people, including her husband and two young sons, are now posting messages of grief and support on the "Find Jennifer Huston" Facebook page.
Through the police department, Huston's family released the following statement:
Our hearts ache today.
We have lost our first born child. We have lost a wife and a mother.
We don't know what lead Jennifer to this dark place and to this end and perhaps never will understand this.
We are incredibly thankful to family, friends, community and media for their searching, supporting and getting the information out that lead to locating Jennifer's car and finding Jennifer.
Additionally, we are grateful for the support of those who took the time share their words of encouragement and prayers on FaceBook and helped fund the extensive search efforts.
This community really came together to support this effort as so many could relate to a mother of two small children and a husband desperately looking for his wife.
We also appreciate all the efforts of the Newberg-Dundee Police Department with support from other law enforcement agencies, on our behalf to find Jennifer.
Lastly I'd like to thank the media for the viral coverage to get the message out of our search for Jennifer. We appreciated the sensitivity to our desperate search for her.
At this time we are respectfully ask for privacy from the media for Kallen, the boys and our extended family and friends.
The family will be holding a Celebration of Life at a yet to be determined date, time and location. We will post this on the "Find Jennifer Huston" FaceBook page when arrangements have been finalized.
The City of Newberg will also post this information on their website and FaceBook page.
Bill & Deborah Turner
Newberg police said Hillside Church is offering to accept notes, cards and flowers on behalf of the Huston family. Those who are interested in doing so can email Pastor Zach Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org.