Mineral Wells woman found in freezer died of meth use and cold, police say

Posted Friday, Oct. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A Mineral Wells woman who had taken methamphetamine and other drugs likely crawled into the chest freezer in her garage where she died, according to a medical examiner’s report released Thursday by police.

Shannon Herrin Huddleston, 38, apparently grabbed a coat before getting into the freezer on the morning of Aug. 8, authorities said.

Hours later, her 19-year-old son found her body, face up, when he opened the freezer to get some food, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram in August.

Earlier, police identified the woman by the name Huddleston. On Thursday, police Chief Dean Sullivan referred to her as Herrin without elaboration.

Herrin died from the “toxic effects of methamphetamine” and hypothermia was a contributing factor, according to the Dallas County medical examiner’s office, which ruled her death an accident.

Fresh puncture wounds on her body from drug use were found, according to the autopsy report. In addition to meth, toxicology tests found marijuana, hydrocodone and an anti-anxiety medication.

“We are mindful of Shannon’s family and their grief from such a tragic loss,” Sullivan said in a phone interview. “These toxicology results are another example of the terrible effects and harm that methamphetamine can bring to people, their family and a community.”

‘My mother’s dead’

According to the affidavit, on the night of Aug. 7, Herrin was at home with her husband, Cecil Huddleston; a family friend; and her son, Jordan Glover, at their residence at 1415 S.E. 19th St. in Mineral Wells.

Glover told police that he left the house about 1:30 a.m. Huddleston said he left for work at 6 a.m. and his wife was alive, the affidavit stated. The friend was asleep on a couch, Huddleston said.

Glover said he returned to the house shortly after 6:30 p.m. to get something to eat. He called 911 shortly after 6:30 p.m.

“My mother’s dead,” a clearly upset Glover told the call taker. “I opened up the freezer and she’s in there.”

He told officers who responded to his call that items were thrown all over the garage, which was odd because Cecil Huddleston always kept it neat.

Investigators learned that Herrin had texted her supervisor on the morning of Aug. 8, saying she was not feeling well and would not be at work. She rarely used text messages, according to the affidavit.

Police questioned two other people who were at the house when Glover found the body, and other relatives, friends and neighbors also were questioned.

Huddleston was arrested on a parole-violation warrant, but Sullivan said the arrest was unrelated to the investigation of his wife’s death.

The affidavit listed items seized from the house including a large bottle with water from the freezer, the freezer itself, Herrin’s cellphone, two laptops, a zipper case with drug paraphernalia, a diary from a bedroom, a folding pocketknife from a dining room, prescription medicine bottles and a swab with possible blood from a bedroom door.

Sullivan said he hoped that Herrin’s family would find “some closure” in the report and in the breakup of a large methamphetamine ring last week. Nineteen people from Palo Pinto County to Dallas were arrested by multiple agencies involved in an eight-month investigation.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to this family, especially her son,” Sullivan said Thursday. “It’s terrible for someone to die in such a manner.”

Along with Mineral Wells police, Herrin’s death was investigated by Texas Rangers, the Palo Pinto district attorney’s office, the Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Department, the Dallas County medical examiner’s office and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

This report includes information from Star-Telegram archives.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763 Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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