Kamara Houston

Mourning the missing 

On April 2, 2021, longtime Lane County resident Kamara Houston passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 43. She had been struggling with high blood pressure and other health problems.

Houston, a loving mother of two, was profoundly impacted by the disappearance of her mother, Judy Parker, who went missing in December 2016. Judy was elderly and suffered from severe mental illness. During an episode of psychosis, she wandered away from her foster home in Springfield and was never seen again. Her perplexing case remains unsolved.

According to Kamara’s daughter, Kailen Houston, “My mother was a very hard worker and always kept herself busy. After the disappearance of her mother, Judy Parker, life did not cease to give my mom a break. I have no doubt that the stress and heartbreak that she felt every day is what led to her health problems, and I will forever wish that I would have been aware of the severity of her health issues.”

I have been writing about Lane County’s missing people the past several years for Eugene Weekly and other publications. In 2020, I wrote “Judy Ann Parker and Eugene’s Missing Mentally Ill.” Most of the information about Judy in my essay came from Kamara Houston, who I interviewed for my story. 

Houston was absolutely devastated by the disappearance of her mother, which was palpable to anyone who interacted with her. It was also apparent that Houston was a very compassionate person, whose concern for people who are suffering extended far beyond her mother. 

Kailen Houston says, “My mother was so smart, so caring and so loving. She was always there to help anyone who needed it.”

Kamara’s family is still dealing with the aftermath of her death. To support them, search “Help us grieve the loss of Kamara” to find the GoFundMe.

To learn more about the disappearance of Judy Parker, see my essay about her on MentalHealthPortland.org.

Brenton Gicker is a registered nurse who lives and works in the Eugene/Springfield area. He has written several stories about local missing people. He can be reached at outfromthevoid@yahoo.com.