Search for missing Oregon mom stretches to San Juan Islands

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Jennifer Huston (Photo: KPTV via NDN)

Jennifer Huston (Photo: KPTV via NDN)

NEWBERG, Ore. — The search for missing Oregon mom Jennifer Huston has stretched to the San Juan Islands Thursday, with police believing she may return to one of her favorite spots growing up.

According to KPTV in Oregon, a bulletin was forwarded to the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office Thursday, and deputies on four islands that are accessible by ferry are looking for her.

San Juan County Sheriff Rob Nou said no specific information about the whereabouts of Huston have been discovered.

Officials in Yamhill County, Ore., told a KPTV reporter they believe Huston may be in the islands, but didn't elaborate as to why.

Huston, who has been missing for several days, grew up in Gig Harbor. The San Juan Islands may be an ideal place for her to go to if she was trying to remain secret, officials said, since the ferry system does not have license plate readers.

A power ping on her cellphone revealed she was driving north after leaving Oregon.

Search and rescue teams combed backcountry roads and all corners of Oregon and Yamhill county Thursday, hoping to find clues that lead them to the missing Dundee mother.

Despite all the efforts this week, deputies have turned up few new leads. An updated bulletin has been sent to law enforcement agencies in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and Alaska.

The current timeline of Huston’s last known activities had her leaving home last Thursday evening at 5:45 p.m., and going to the Oregon First Community Credit Union in Newberg about three miles away. She withdrew less than $100 from the credit union ATM.

From 6:10 p.m. to 6:17 p.m., she went to Rite Aid, where she purchased Gatorade, trail mix and over-the-counter sleeping pills. The amount of sleeping pills she purchased would not be enough for a lethal dose.

At 6:20 p.m., she went to get gas at the nearby Circle K gas station on Portland Road, spending less than $40 at the gas station, leading police to believe she was topping off the tank.

At 6:35 p.m., Huston’s cell phone signal went dead.

Police said the expected travel range of Huston’s SUV on a full tank of gasoline would be 300 to 350 miles. Detectives said she had several favorite places she would visit with her family within that range of Newberg, but did not elaborate on specific locations.

With no new information surfacing, detectives continue to treat this as a missing person’s case with no known criminal element or threat to the public.

“People really want us to go at the husband, some pretty aggressively,” said Capt. Jeff Kosmicki, of the Newberg-Dundee Police Department. “It’s a normal process of the investigation. We want to eliminate him. He has done nothing but cooperate with us; (and) as a matter of fact, during the polygraph, he passed with what I would say are flying colors.”

Law enforcement plans to conduct aerial searches that cover the west and central sections of Yamhill County on Thursday and Friday.

Huston is 5’7″ with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing black and pink Nike shoes and black yoga pants. She drives a dark green 1999 Lexus LX 470 with Oregon plates WXH 011.

The SUV had a U-shaped crack in the windshield on the passenger side and a Yakima ski rack mounted on the roof.

Any tips or leads should be referred to the Newberg-Dundee Police Department by calling 503-537-1246.


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