Whitney Heichel's Accused Killer Knew Her
October 22, 2012, 7:30 am
We are learning more about the man accused of murdering 21 year old Whitney Heichel. Not only were they neighbors in the same apartment complex, but church members confirm Jonathan Holt was in the same Jehovah's Witness congregation. They say he was not in regular attendance. Holt is scheduled to appear via video in Clackamas County Court later today. Investigators say although Heichel's body was found on Larch Mountain, they think she was killed in Clackamas County. The Multnomah County Medical Examiner's Office tells KGW Newschannel 8 she died from multiple gunshot wounds but would release no other information about the case.
At a hastily called press conference Friday evening Gresham Police delivered the news that they had found the body of 21-year-old Whitney Heichel on Larch Mountain. They say she has been brutally murdered. They also say they have a prime suspect in custody - Jonathon Holt. He has been charged with her aggravated murder. Police say he was an acquaintance of Whitney and her husband Clint and lived in the same apartment complex. Friday night press conference
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Tips keep coming in to Gresham Police on the disappearance of 21-year-old Whitney Heichel, and so do the clues. She's been missing since Tuesday morning when she left her home, but didn't show up for work. Fifty new tips came in overnight and more with each press conference.
Police have confirmed that a Smartphone found by kids playing in a field of blackberry bushes at the Troutdale Terrace Apartments belongs to Whitney and detectives hope to collect the data on it. The screensaver was reportedly a picture of her and there were several text messages asking if she was okay.
The apartment complex is in an area where investigators already knew her vehicle had been between a gas station at 257th and Stark and a store at 235th and Sandy. This gives them a new area to search. They're also back at Larch Mountain for a third day after searching Dodge Park as well.
Police won't comment on what is shown on surveillance video and won't release any footage just yet either. There are no persons of interest.
Whitney's husband Clint reported his wife missing three hours after she left for her job at the Starbucks near Powell and Burnside just five minutes from their home. Her SUV was later found by family passing out flyers at the Wood Village WalMart parked backwards with a busted passenger side window, the back seats down and mud on the tires.
Heichel's ATM card was used to buy gas and withdraw cash from several ATM's. A gas station attendant saw Heichel in the passenger seat with a man driving who was acting suspiciously hurried and didn't buy much gas.
If you've seen Whitney Heichel or have any leads, Gresham Police want to hear from you on their tip line at (503) 618-2719.