All manner of gossip about a possible suspicious death is streaming through the coastal rumor mill, but the Fort Bragg police, who are leading the ongoing investigation, aren't saying anything. Ditto with the sheriff's office, which recently completed an autopsy on Huckins' body, and is awaiting the results of a toxicology test that should be completed in about six weeks. Lt. Rusty Noe said they won't be able to determine a cause of death until then.
Huckins was from Washington state, but moved to Little River in the early '90s from the Central Valley and eventually landed in Fort Bragg. She raised Arabian horses, painted and at one point ran a gallery in the harbor, according to Mary Cesario Weaver, who was a close friend and was selling the North Harbor Drive home where Huckins' body was found. (Huckins was also a close friend and mentor of Katlyn Long, the coast girl who was found dead a year-and-a-half ago; she talked to us here for a story we wrote about Long's still unsolved death.)
"[Jeanne] was a fabulous artist, an incredible artist. Her oil patinings were just—somebody should have discovered her," Cesario Weaver said.
One of the most widely circulated rumors is suicide—though Cesario Weaver and other friends say that's unlikely, as Huckins appeared to be in good sprits at the time of her death.