Missing Oregon barista’s remains found, neighbor arrested
Portland, OR, United States (4E) – The 21-year-old Starbuck’s barista from Gresham, Oregon who was reported missing on her way to work last Tuesday was found dead Friday, her 24-year-old neighbor has been charged with her murder.
Authorities said that Whitney Heichel’s body was discovered on Larch Mountain, an area near her hometown. Her neighbor, Jonathan Holt, has been arrested but the motive is still unknown.
Heichel vanished Tuesday morning on her five-minute drive to her job at Starbucks, which prompted a frenetic search.
Her abandoned SUV was found in a Walmart parking lot a few hours after she went missing, and her cellphone was discovered by kids playing near her apartment Thursday.
Detectives talked to Holt Wednesday and Thursday as police gathered fingerprints and evidence, and then took him in custody Friday night during an interview.
He has been booked at the Clackamas County Jail on an aggravated murder charge and his arraignment has been scheduled Monday in Clackamas County Circuit Court.
Gresham Police Chief Craig Junginger reported that Holt’s interview revealed many inconsistencies.
The cause of death were not disclosed.
Heichel’s family, who said that they are “profoundly devastated” by her death, also expressed gratefulness to the police and civilians who helped in the search.
In a statement they said that “the loving concern from ones that did not even know Whitney or her family has deeply touched our hearts. The outpouring of support from members of our faith has been such an aid in helping us to deal with the pain and loss of such a wonderful person.”