UPDATED: Missing since July 24, Dundee mom Jennifer Huston found near Sheridan, police still processing scene

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED - Jennifer Huston, 38, of DundeeNewberg-Dundee Police detectives report discovering Jennifer Huston's body near her vehicle outside of Sheridan. Huston has been missing since July 24 when she disappeared from Newberg after running errands. Police say there is nothing to indicate foul play at this time, although the investigation is ongoing. 

“Because this is a pending death investigation we are not releasing the apparent cause of death,” said NDPD Chief Brian Casey at a press conference Tuesday. Huston’s vehicle was spotted outside of Sheridan about six miles down Southeast Gopher Valley Road, just off Highway 18 around 10:30 a.m. by Vern Clemmer, 74, when he went out to chop wood on his 30-acre property. Spotting the vehicle, he said he wrote down the license plate because it seemed suspicious. When he returned to the house and told his wife Charlotte Clemmer what he saw, she said her heart fell.

Vern Clemmer said he smelled what he thought was a dead deer.

“I was going to look for a dead deer on the way back and now I’m glad I didn’t,” Clemmer said. He said he didn’t investigate further because he got an “eerie feeling.” He said the Lexus was parked roughly 50 yards in from the road and in an area that required the driver to unlatch a roped gate, pass a “No Trespassing” sign and re-attach the gate. “Our purpose is not to leave any unanswered questions for our investigation, for the family and for the public,” Casey said. “When the investigation is complete additional information will be released.”

The scene was still being processed by the Oregon State Crime Lab Forensics Unit Tuesday afternoon, so information at that time was limited. NDPD Capt. Jeff Kosmicki said more information might be available as early as Wednesday, pending the medical examiner’s investigation.

“The whole entire county was checked as best as it can,” Kosmicki said. Police spent the past week following up on tips from as far away as Michigan and Texas. “And of course (the San Juan Islands). None of those were more significant than the other. I’m not really sure how one became more important than another. We received tips from all around this half of the nation.”

Kosmicki described the scene as a driveway on private property, although not a main driveway and surrounded by a “thick canopy of trees.”

“We’re going to put it all together. We’re waiting for results from the medical examiner,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re 100 percent on everything before we give it out. We’re still open minded. We’re still taking precautions, that’s why we had the Oregon State Crime Lab come in.”

A timeframe for how long Huston had been at the scene is also unknown at this time and Kosmicki declined to speak on her condition until more information is known. She was found an estimated 50 yards from the vehicle and about an eighth of a mile from the property owner’s home. He said Huston was still wearing the outfit last reported including black yoga pants and a grey hoodie.

Huston’s family has asked to be given their privacy as they grieve and both Kosmicki and Casey offered their condolences.

“I would say probably the most upsetting is for the family, for the officers it can’t compare to what the family is going through,” Kosmicki said of the development.

Kallen Huston, Jennifer’s husband, spoke to multiple media outlets including two press conferences, in attempts to find his wife. He said she was acting erratically the night she left to run errands, where records show she went to an ATM before purchasing snacks and sleeping pills from Rite Aid in Newberg.

“If you can come home, do,” Kallen Huston said in a press conference last week. “The boys need you, I need you.”

The “Find Jennifer Huston” Facebook page garnered nearly 45,000 likes since her disappearance and posted yesterday “Thank you to everyone who has helped us search for Jennifer. We are grieving at this time and ask that we be given privacy.”

Hillside Fellowship Church Pastor Zach Elliott helped organize a prayer session at the church last week and said the situation is heartbreaking, especially for the two young boys, ages 6 and 2.

“Just as a person and as a dad, I can empathize up to a point, but there are no real words to express the grief that has probably surrounded the family today,” Elliott said. “I know from the Huston family, what they have said over and over, is just that they have appreciated the support and the love and the encouragement that they have felt from not only the community but the folks that were involved in searching — all of those people.”

He said anyone wishing to leave notes, cards or flowers for the family may do so at Hillside Fellowship. Elliott said those items would be passed along to the family at an appropriate time.

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