PORTLAND Dundee mother Jennifer Huston went missing Thursday. By Saturday, her story started to garner national media attention and now, seven days later, the Facebook page dedicated to her search has close to 40,000 likes.
But Huston s case is just one of nearly 300 open missing person cases in Oregon.
So why do some missing person cases draw so much more attention than others?
According to a professor at the University of Portland who researches media cause and effect, there are several factors in play.
She s young, she s in the prime of her life, she has two young kids, said Professor Jeanette Lovejoy. They have a small, great nuclear family, she s from a rural town, she s known by neighbors...so she s very relatable.
Lovejoy said Houston s lack of criminal record or history of disappearing add to the mystery of why she left.
But, although there are 277 other missing people on the books in Oregon, few get the kind of attention Huston has.
Stephanie Wolfe, the creator of Oregon s Missing Persons Blog, says the media, police and the missing person s family all help draw attention to missing people.
If the family doesn t have the means or the confidence to go to the media, the media might not every know about it, she said.
Wolfe created her blog for missing people who don t get that kind of attention. It features the faces and information about all of the missing people in the state.