DUNDEE, Ore. – Missing Dundee mom Jennifer Huston was found dead in a remote area of Yamhill County Tuesday, police said.
A property owner spotted her SUV along a dirt road about 1/8 of a mile from the closest home in the rural farming community near Sheridan. He alerted police around 10:30 a.m., and deputies soon found Huston's body about 50 yards away from her vehicle, according to Capt. Jeff Kosmicki with the Newberg-Dundee Police Department.
Kosmicki would not discuss the condition of the body, but said Huston was still wearing the outfit she had on the night she went missing; black yoga pants, a sweatshirt and sneakers. He said there were no obvious signs of foul play or indications that her SUV had been involved in a crash.
He added that the area just off Highway 18 had previously been searched by air, but a heavy canopy of trees hid Huston's vehicle. Now a mobile team with the Oregon State Crime Lab will comb the area for any additional clues and autopsy could be released as soon as Wednesday, he said.
"We're still open-ended. We're still going to take precautions," Kosmicki said of the ongoing death investigation. "We're keeping an open mind, but I think we have a pretty good idea of what happened."
An area resident told KGW a chain link fence had been haphazardly moved and that's what led the property owner to finding Huston's SUV. That neighbor also reported noticing a strong odor.
Huston's family was notified late Tuesday morning that she was found.
"This is most upsetting for the family," Kosmicki said. "It's been tough... for the officers, but it can't compare to what the family is going through."
Huston, 38, had been missing since the evening of Thursday, July 24. She left home to run errands and seemed a little stressed out, according to her husband, Kallen Huston. Police put together a timeline based on evidence in the case. They said Huston left home around 5:45 p.m., withdrew a small amount of money from at ATM at the First Community Credit Union around 6 p.m., bought snacks and sleeping pills at a local Rite Aid and then gassed up her SUV at the Newberg Circle K at 6:10 p.m. Her cell phone stopped working at 6:25 p.m.
Police were able to obtain surveillance video from the bank and gas station. Investigators who studied that video said they were confident Huston was the only person in the vehicle when it pulled up. She was driving a dark green 1999 Lexus SUV with Oregon License number WXH 011.
People who live in the small rural community where Huston's body was found were shocked to learn of the death investigation so close to home.
Kallen said Jennifer had been complaining about a headache the three days before she vanished, but she did not have any other known health issues.
Jennifer and Kallen have two young sons, ages 2 and 6, whose birthdays are both in September. The couple also had big plans to celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary on August 14. Huston's family said she was a dedicated wife and mother.