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Blog, Faith, Marriage, Parenting, prayer

Jennifer Huston’s death ruled a suicide


Beautiful Jennifer Huston

Beautiful Jennifer Huston

I just went for a short drive to get out of the house, my heart heavy for beautiful Jennifer Huston and her family. Got a cold Coke at Sonic and a chocolate candy bar, then headed back home. I felt prompted to pull into a parking lot and googled Jennifer Huston again. It was the news I was expecting after I found out yesterday that she had ¬†died, yet didn’t want to hear. My heart is so heavy over this.¬†

Jennifer Huston died of asphyxiation by hanging, Dr, Karen Gunson the Oregon medical state examiner said Thursday. The box of sleeping pills she had purchased were empty. There is no evidence of a crash or damage to her dark green SUV and the fuel guage registered as full.

¬†Inside the SUV, detectives found a ¬†suicide note addressed to members of¬†her family. ( reports) I want to know so bad what it said. What were this precious woman’s last words? What pain was so great that she couldn’t stand to live any more?

Her¬†purse and personal items, which¬†included her cell phone that she apparently turned off after getting gas, were also located inside the SUV. The cell phone was analyzed by NDPD computer forensic detectives who “found no indications of nefarious activities.” ¬†( reports)

She died  close to the time she was reported missing, within 24 miles of her home, on a rural logging road off Highway 18 on private property. Her family and authorities had conducted a nation-wide search, including helicopters and searching lakes and rivers, to no avail.

T-shirt to find Jennifer

T-shirt to help find Jennifer

Her SUV was seen by the landowner of the private property, who thought it might belong to illegal trespassers. He called the authorities, reading the plate numbers to them. Authorities quickly came and swept the area, and found her body about 40 yards from the SUV. 

Jennifer, wife of Kallen Huston and planning their 10 year anniversary in August and mom of 2 boys ages 6 and 2 years old, died by suicide after she went to Rite-Aid after withdrawing less than $100 outside her credit union at the ATM, bought Gatorade, Trail Mix, and sleeping pills at Rite-Aid, and then topped off her green SUV gas tank. 

Jennifer Huston, last video surveillance of her, getting snacks at Rite-Aid

Jennifer Huston, last video surveillance of her, getting snacks at Rite-Aid

When Jennifer disappeared, the news spread all over the nation via social media, TV and radio coverage. Most people have been very compassionate and have written encouraging words on her family’s Find Jennifer Huston Facebook page, but some people have been pretty nasty with comments, which have made me angry. Have they no heart for this woman and her grieving family?

Since I first heard about this situation, I’ve been praying. I’d hoped so much that she would be found alive and safe – even if it meant she had driven to Washington to board the ferry to San Juan Islands without telling her family, as one couple reported possibly seeing her after her disappearance.

I’ve been obsessing about it with my family. Maybe it’s that she seems a symbol of the average American wife and mom with kids ~ a woman who loved others, was devoted to her husband and children, and was involved in the community ~ and yet stressed out and overwhelmed with the day to day responsibilities and demands. I get it. Many women do.

Jennifer Huston and family

Jennifer Huston and family

 Potty training a child. Buying groceries. Paying Рand juggling Рmonthly bills, sometimes with more month than money, and maybe not being able to go on vacation this year to San Juan Islands as she apparently loved to do, or any vacation.

I didn’t have the great privilege of knowing Jennifer as her family and friends did, and of course I don’t know what her life was like. But clues from what her husband and family said, such as her leaving her home the last night stressed out and then taking her life, give me a glimpse of what it may have been like.

Despite her obvious outer beauty and inner beauty described by her family and friends, her solid marriage as her father and her husband Kallen described, and her beautiful little boys,¬†inside something was missing. Empty. Hurting. You can see the pain in her eyes in her pictures in the news. She didn’t understand her great value and her God-ordained purpose. How God and others cherished her. We all need to feel loved, needed, and important…although it seems her family loved her a great deal, somehow that message didn’t get through to her. That breaks my heart!

My heart just cries out for her. I’ve been down that dark road. I describe it in my new book, Promises In The Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love¬† ~ my own suicide attempts, such as my overdose of pills, which thankfully didn’t succeed. I could have winded up like Jennifer. So many do!¬†Thank God He spared my life, and gave me a second and third chance. Jennifer, I so wish I’d known you! I wish I could have somehow reached out to you before this¬†awful tragedy happened!

Jennifer with one of her sons

Jennifer with one of her sons. “A devoted mother”- husband Callan said.

Some people on social media are calling Jennifer’s suicide “totally selfish.” Yes, suicide is a very selfish act. But ultimately, it is the loudest cry of unbearable pain and overwhelm. I only feel great compassion for her, and am grieving with her family.

WHY?! What caused her to take her own life? What pain was so great that she couldn’t bear it another second? I wish I knew…I wish she could have let Jesus taken it from her and given her His rest and abundant life.¬†

Her parents shared this message in their public statement about her suicide death: 

‚ÄúOur hearts ache today. We have lost our first born child. We have lost a wife and a mother. We don‚Äôt 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‚Äôs car and finding Jennifer.”

I can’t imagine her mom’s, or her other family members’, great pain. God, have mercy. Please comfort and strengthen them. Cover them with Your love and goodness.

¬†If you know someone who is hurting, please, reach out with God’s love…

The world is now missing someone very precious. Jennifer, I honor your life. I wish we had been close friends. 

Jennifer Huston, I honor your life

Jennifer, I honor your life

The Hillside Fellowship Church has offered to accept any notes, cards and flowers on behalf of the Huston family. Anyone wishing to do so can contact Pastor Zach Elliott at to make arrangements for gifts or other contributions.

The Family has a GoFundMe account set up for search effort funding as recently allocated, funeral expenses, counseling for their 2 sons and Kallen, and any remaining funds will¬†be donated toward a non-profit organization that supports women’s health, families, and suicide prevention. Just click here to donate.¬†

Blog, Faith, Marriage, Parenting, prayer

Jennifer Huston’s Impact


Beautiful Jennifer Huston

Beautiful Jennifer Huston

Jennifer Huston, the ¬†beautiful, 38-year-old wife and stay-at-home mom of 2 little boys in Oregon who’s been missing, has been found – dead, ¬†about 50 yards from her green SUV, which was discovered by the landowner Vern Clemmers on his private property on a logging road, hidden under a thick canopy of trees in Yamhill County near Sheridan, Oregon.

He thought the SUV might be illegal trespassers and called authorities. The plate matched Jennifer’s SUV and authorities came to investigate, doing a sweep of the area since she was not in the car. She was found dead, about 50 yards from the SUV, in the same clothes she was wearing when she disappeared.¬†

There is a “No Trespassing” sign and a roped gate across the road, which she or someone had to reattach after driving in there.¬†The SUV was facing the same way it came in. Sheridan is about 24 miles from her home.¬†Her missing and her death have made a deep impact on me and on people nationally.

Rural logging road off Highway 18 in Sheridan, where Jennifer's green SUV was found

Rural logging road off Highway 18 in Sheridan, where Jennifer’s green SUV was found

¬†Police detectives said there’s no signs of foul play and it doesn’t appear that her death was caused by a car crash.¬†They said they have a “pretty good idea of what happened,” but haven’t released the cause of death yet to the public. An autopsy is being done and the SUV is being processed. I am watching the news continually to get answers about what caused her death. I’ve been obsessed with this story from the start. The whole thing has seemed “off” to me.

Jennifer Huston and family

Jennifer Huston and family

When I first heard about Jennifer, wife to Kallen and mom of 2 boys ages 6 and 2, who began missing July 24, I began praying.

According to news reports, Jennifer told her husband when he came home that she was going to run errands. Kallen told police and news reporters that the only thing that seemed unusual to him was that she had been having a headache for 3 days.

Fox 12 Oregon News report said that Jennifer went to an ATM outside the Oregon First Community Credit Union in Newburg about 3 miles away to withdraw $100 just before 6 p.m. The last video surveillance of her showed her at Rite-Aid buying Gatorade, Trail Mix, and non-lethal sleeping pills, and buying gas at Circle K gas station.

Jennifer Huston, last  video surveillance of her, getting snacks at Rite-Aid

Jennifer Huston, last video surveillance of her, getting snacks at Rite-Aid

¬†Many people on social media puzzled and speculated about this purchase and her facial expression…she almost looks like she is smiling. Some of us hide our deepest pain behind a smile or laugh. One forum suggested that someone who is planning to commit suicide has peace about the decision – his or her pain will now be over.

Kallen said at a press conference that Jennifer had no history of mental illness (although she could have been without being diagnosed) nor had known medical problems – just the headache which had lingered 3 days,which he said hadn’t seemed debilitating enough for her to go to the doctor. He said she may have bought the pills to help her get a good night’s rest. He said she didn’t buy sleeping pills a lot, but had used them sometimes for sleep.¬†

Others in the forum wondered if she really was planning to commit suicide. Would¬†someone plan to eat a snack before killing herself/himself? One forum suggested that if her stomach was empty, and she took the sleeping pills, she needed to make sure she wouldn’t vomit the sleeping pills.

However, if she was going to commit suicide, the sleeping pills wouldn’t be strong enough to kill her. Was she taking them with something else, more lethal? Did she have a gun in the SUV and shoot herself? Gunshots were heard by a neighbor of the landowner Vern Clemmens about 2 weeks ago (when she began missing), but he didn’t think much of it since gunshots are common there for hunting deer, etc.

Statistically, men are more likely to use a lethal weapon to attempt suicide; women tend to overdose or cut their wrists. However, people who live in rural areas are more likely to attempt suicide with a firearm and people who do use a firearm are more likely to die than those using a less lethal method.

In the video surveillance at Rite-Aid, Jennifer¬†doesn’t appear to be afraid, if someone had been in the car threatening her…or did they get in the car after she went back out and abduct her?

She never answered a text from her mother, which Kallen said on camera was unusual, and her phone went off at 6:45 p.m. Police said the phone battery didn’t die, so it had to be turned off….some speculating she didn’t WANT to be disturbed, or want to be found. Then she disappeared.

Jennifer and son

Jennifer and son

Where was she? How could she go completely off the grid like this? Why couldn’t police find her SUV?

Had she been abducted? Raped and killed? Sold into human trafficking? Did she become overwhelmed with life, and left her husband and kids? Did she and Kallen have a fight about money, their marriage, the kids, not going to San Juan on vacation like she wanted, and then she said, “I’m out of here!”¬†and killed herself? At the press conference, Kallen said she loved him and the kids, and didn’t indicate a lot of marriage problems. I read on a forum online that they did have an argument about money right before she left the house and disappeared, but I can’t find any news stories online which state this. Did she have a heart attack or stroke/aneurysm, and crash her car, injured, and she was lying in a ditch somewhere, as Kallen thought?

It was keeping me up at night. I prayed for her to be found alive and her safe return. I kept talking about it to my family.¬†They asked me why I was so obsessed with this. ¬†I wasn’t alone in this. It was all over Facebook, Twitter, and the news.

Jennifer had captured the heart of the nation. Maybe she just represented the average, every-day wife and mom and we all wanted her to be okay – to know we will all be okay. A prayer vigil was held for her safe return.

Kallen passed the polygraph test and had several interviews by investigators, who said he fully cooperated. Police began a nationwide search.  Helicopters were flown over Oregon. Lakes and rivers were searched. There are a lot of valleys and forests there, which makes searching difficult.

The SUV was a 1999 Lexus; if it had been a newer model, they may have been able to GPS locate it.

12 days and she was still gone, but her family wouldn’t give up.

Jennifer and Kallen

Jennifer and Kallen

Her family created the Find Jennifer Huston Facebook page, and used posters, flyers, and buttons to try to locate her. Bright yellow t-shirts with her picture were made and worn by family and friends. An entire community was looking for her everywhere.

Missing poster to locate Jennifer Huston

Missing poster to locate Jennifer Huston

T-shirt to find Jennifer

T-shirt to help find Jennifer

On a press conference, Kallen¬†told her on camera that he and the boys loved her, pleading for her to come home and said if she was being held against her will, to stay strong and they’d never stop looking for her.

Kallen¬†said she was a very good person, a devoted and “very regimented” wife and mother, and it was very out of character for her to do something like this. Her family and friends agreed. Babysitters said she was making plans for their 10-year wedding anniversary.

Jennifer with one of her sons

Jennifer with one of her sons. “A devoted mother”- husband Kallen

¬†People thought they saw her in different places, with¬†one report from a couple that she might have taken a ferry in Anacortes, Northwest Washington to the San Juan Islands, where she’d visited before and loved.

Police didn’t find her there.¬†When I heard of this sighting from a couple, I prayed, “God, please let her be there!” It didn’t matter that she hadn’t called anyone and told them where she was…just let her be alive.¬†

People on social media were saying she had found herself a new man and had run off to the islands, which angered me. Theories were developed as to what had happened to her.

Jennifer's tearful, frightened parents (woman with glasses and man with white beard and glasses), and Jennifer's husband Callan in cap at press conference

Jennifer’s tearful, frightened parents (woman with glasses and man with white beard and glasses, and Jennifer’s husband Kallen in cap at press conference

¬†I didn’t know this woman or anything about her. She lived in Oregon, far away from me. All I know is that she was a wife and a mom, someone precious to God, and she was missing. She was only a few years older than our oldest daughter, Heather, and had 2 young children like Heather. I would be hysterical if one of our children went missing like this.¬†¬†

Our beautiful daughters Eden, Heather & Leah

Our beautiful daughters Eden, Heather & Leah

I couldn’t imagine what Jennifer’s family and friends¬†were going through emotionally. My heart went out to Kallen¬†as he broke down crying at times on camera, asking for the public’s help to find her, and to her mom in tears, saying something was very wrong, that she’d never leave her children. Her father said they were scared to death.

Jennifer's husband Kallen

Jennifer’s husband Kallen

I thought of Jennifer’s kids, not being old enough to understand what was going on and wanting their mommy.¬†Kallen¬†had told them she was on vacation, then told the oldest son after time went on and she hadn’t returned home, that she was missing.

Then he had to tell them their mommy was dead. How absolutely horrible.

On the Facebook page, the family thanked everyone for their help in searching for Jennifer and is now asking for privacy to grieve. I pray the media honors their request and gives them space and time to grieve and heal.

Since the phone was apparently turned off, it may be that Jennifer didn’t want to be bothered and/or found and it looks likely that she committed suicide. But why? The police have said no foul play is involved and there’s no apparent danger to the public. Was there a suicide note? How did she die exactly? Questions remain unanswered.¬†

I’m waiting to hear what the autopsy reveals. I’m praying for her family and her friends. Please keep them in prayer.¬†

¬†“Where can I go from Your spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there You will guide me, even there You will hold my hand.” Psalm 139:7,9,10



Blog, Faith, Parenting, prayer, Spiritual Gifts, Writing

Darkness moves the Spirit of God

Vickie Oakley

Vickie Oakley

The Women’s Battles Radio Show today with special guest Vickie Oakley was very powerful.

On this show, Vickie shared the story of her 17 year old daughter Hope being suddenly and tragically killed in a car accident, and how God changed Vickie’s life through it.

One thing she said which struck me was when she shared from Genesis 1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

She said, “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Darkness moves the Spirit of God.”


Are you in a dark time? Do you need hope?

If you weren’t able to attend the show today, you can listen to the replay by clicking on the link below:

Women’s Battles Radio Show with Vickie Oakley

Are you a parent whose child died, or another loved one?

Have you faced the loss of your marriage, job, career, ministry, home, or another kind of loss?

How did you get through it?

Vickie shared that while she greatly struggled after Hope’s death with the normal grief stages of shock, anger, confusion, and hurt, it is Jesus Christ who gave her the strength to get through the pain. He is now using Hope’s life and death in a powerful way.¬†

Remember that with Christ there is always hope.

I was so blessed that some of Hope’s family and friends were in the chat room and on the phone lines today to support Vickie and to honor Hope’s life. Her family and friends said she was a wonderful person who truly loved her family, friends, and others, had a contagious laugh and a giving heart, and was very sweet. I wish I’d known her.

The name of Vickie’s new website at is a play on words with Hope’s name: Messages of Hope.

There Vickie will be sharing inspiring, hope-filled messages from God’s word and life to encourage you. She is an anointed speaker, teacher and writer, and I believe today was the launch of something new and great in her life.

I also LOVE that Vickie is a very unique, creative person -a photographer and a Harley-riding chick, who rides motorcycles with her husband and their biker friends. You can see the picture of her and her husband with Vickie on their Harley bike at the home page of her website

Hope, we honor your life today. Thank you for inspiring others and impacting them with your life.