UPDATE: 8/5/14 – Jennifer’s car was found on a dirt road on a farming area near Sheridan by the property owner that called the police, reports USA Today.
The police found Jennifer’s body about 50 yards from her car.
Police stated there was no sound of a car accident or foul play and that even though they searched the area by air, the car could not be seen as it was hidden by tree canopy.
UPDATE: 7/31/14 – Today I read that the police said they could not get a subpoena for Jennifer’s cell phone to ping it’s location because they have no proof there has been a crime.
I am confused. I know that federal law enforcement gets subscriber and tolls information via a subpoena all the time. These type of subpoena’s do not go to a Judge they are simply a form that is sent to the cell phone company asking them to find out the information and give it to them. There are people that work for the different cell phone companies that their sole job is to answer subpoena’s from law enforcement.
So, for KGW news to state, without Huston’s approval, or evidence of a crime, police can’t get a court subpoena for her cell phone records, may be because they do not understand how all of this works, but it could be that asking for the “ping” from a phone is an entirely different thing than asking for tolls or subscriber information and does need a Judge’s okay. So, I thought I would see if I could find out that information.
According to the Washington Post in 2007, “Law enforcement routinely now requests carriers to continuously ‘ping’ wireless devices of suspects to locate them when a call is not being made . . . so law enforcement can triangulate the precise location of a device and [seek] the location of all associates communicating with a target,” wrote Christopher Guttman-McCabe, vice president of regulatory affairs for CTIA — the Wireless Association, in a July comment to the Federal Communications Commission. He said the “lack of a consistent legal standard for tracking a user’s location has made it difficult for carriers to comply” with law enforcement agencies’ demands.
Often, Al Gidari, a partner at Perkins Coie in Seattle, who reviews data requests for carriers. Gidari said, federal agents tell a carrier they need real-time tracking data in an emergency but fail to follow up with the required court approval. Justice Department officials said to the best of their knowledge, agents are obtaining court approval unless the carriers provide the data voluntarily.”
Although this is an older article, you can see that police asking for cell phone activity is a very common thing and is so routine that follow up paperwork is not always done because the cell phone companies are so used to getting the request they just do them. But, there are some cell phone company’s that are sticklers for the law. Is it possible that the authorities ran into a carrier like that and they are the one’s denying the police any information because they didn’t have their ducks in a row?
In Seattle, getting a phone location from a “ping” is call a pen/trap. To qualify:
- “An emergency situation exists that involves “immediate danger of death or serious bodily injury” and,
- A qualified King County Prosecutor from the Special Operations Unit agrees with police that the above described emergency situation exists and,
- There is a reasonable basis to believe that locating a cell phone is necessary to police ability to provide the needed assistance and,
- The danger is such that, even if the pen/trap court order were diligently pursued, the emergency requires locating the cell phone before an order could be obtained.”
The facts and circumstance support that a court could lawfully authorize the order if pursued. With that, I believe an emergency could be easily established based on the fact that Jennifer was known to have purchased some over the counter sleeping pills. It would seem her state of mind could be established as possible suicide which would warrant an emergency, but police stated they were not lethal. But, what about the fact she may have had an accident. She could be off the road somewhere and in need of assistance. I doubt very much if the authorities went to a judge and asked to have her phone pinged or to be able to obtain video from the store she was seen at, would be denied. I wonder if they are convinced she walked away, like the McStay’s did and see no further use in narrowing down where she might be.
Jennifer Huston, 38, from Dundee, Oregon has been missing since July 22, 2014 She is seen on a surveillance video purchasing gas at a Circle K 76 gas station in Newberg around 6:10 P.M.
The vehicle is a dark green Lexus LX-470. The license plate is WXH-011. Please keep an eye out for her car. It may even be parked somewhere.
She was wearing black and pink Nike shoes and yoga pants, according to a flier her family posted on social media and shared with media outlets.
She is 5-foot-7-inches tall and has blond shoulder-length hair and blue eyes.
The family created a Facebook page to share photographs and information.
Anyone with information should contact Detective Ryan Simmons at 503-538-8321.