From the Blogs: Update on the Death of Jeanne Huckins

by Tim Stelloh, March 18, 2010

Police say Huckins, whose body was found in early January in her Fort Bragg home, committed suicide with a revolver. Gunshot wounds were found in her head and knee; police also say she had high levels of prescription narcotics in her system at the time she died.

Jeanne Huckins

Jeanne Huckinsher system at the time she died. She was 63.

It's unusual for women to use guns when committing suicide-- "especially in the facial area," said Sheriff's Capt. Kurt Smallcomb. "Women don't like to disfigure themselves."

At first, Smallcomb said he believed there was more to Huckins' death. But once he saw the evidence collected by the Fort Bragg Police Department--the lead agency investigating the case--and once the results of the autopsy and toxicology test were completed, Smallcomb said he was comfortable with the suicide classification (his department oversees the latter).

Huckins' friends, however, remain skeptical. They say she hated guns, that she didn't seem depressed, that there's no way she would have shot herself in the head.

"She cared about the way she looked, the way she presented herself," said one friend who didn't want to be identified. "She went to the gym all the time. She had tons of plastic surgery. She'd had liposuction. She had eyeliner tattooed on. She had that done in Beverly Hills. Anyone who spends that much time trying to look nice, I'm not sure she'd shoot herself."

Nevertheless, the case is closed and will remain so unless there's strong evidence that suggests she didn't commit suicide, said Fort Bragg Police Sgt. Phil Ward. Ward said the investigation was never treated as a "suspicious death," though it was a major investigation. Citing concern for family, Fort Bragg Police Capt. Brian Ballard declined to provide details of that investigation.

The AVA filed a Freedom of Information Act request to view those details.

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