The surveillance video is unremarkable, even mundane. On July 24, a 38-year-old blonde woman entered a Rite Aid pharmacy in Newberg, Oregon, about 45 miles south of Portland. Seemingly relaxed, she bought a bottle of Gatorade, a package of trail mix, and a box of over-the-counter sleeping pills.
And then, she vanished without a trace. Jennifer Huston, a married mother with two small children, hasn’t been seen in nearly a week, leaving behind a frantic family and baffled police. Her bank accounts and credit cards have remained unused. Her cell phone has been turned off.
“As of this time, there is no known criminal nexus to this case,” said the Newburg-Dundee police department in a press release, “nor is there any known threat to the public.”
Investigators began to piece together the events of that night, but have found few clues. After leaving her home, Huston withdrew $100 from a credit union about three miles from her house. Swinging by a nearby Circle K, she topped off the gas tank in her dark green Lexus SUV before heading to the drugstore. There were no signs of coercion or distress.
Investigators note that Huston’s husband, Kallen, has fully cooperated with the investigation, granting multiple police interviews and even passing a polygraph test. They also explain that the sleeping pills she bought would not be a lethal dose.
“We are following up leads,” Dundee Police captain Jeff Kosmicki told reporters. “We are obviously trying to get subpoenas for bank records, cellphone records, and any video that could give us direction.”
But, in the days before the disappearance, the family noticed something was off.
“She complained about headaches for three straight days,” Kallen Huston said in a press conference. “Not debilitating and didn’t keep her in bed. But she and I both thought it was a little odd.”
Huston s family and friends have created a Facebook page to raise awareness of her disappearance. “Jennifer is 38 years old, 5’7”, average build, blonde shoulder-length hair and blue eyes, the family writes on her missing flyer. “[She was] wearing black/pink Nike shoes and black yoga pants. Jennifer drives a dark green 1999 Lexus LX 470 with Oregon plate WXH 011.”
The family insists that she wouldn’t voluntarily abandon her children, aged 6 and 2.
“She’s a loving mother,” Kallen Huston said. “That’s why this is so out of character. This is not Jennifer. She wouldn’t just leave. We just want to bring her back home.”