The long search for missing barista Whitney Heichel of 21 years of age came to a halt Friday night when police located her body. Her neighbor, Jonathan Holt, 24 has been arrested in connection with her death.
Her body was found on Larch Mountain which is a 40 minute drive from her home in Gresham, Ore.
Holt was arrested when several interviews clashed with the physical evidence of his fingerprints and DNA discovered in the victim’s car.
"Really words can't begin to express the sadness that our families are experiencing tonight," family spokesman Jim Vaughn said.
Suspicions arose when Heichel did not show up for work at Starbucks on Tuesday morning. Her workplace was only a few minutes from her home and where her body was found was quite some distance from where she lived and would have had to go through a series of winding passages to venture in. Her Ford Explorer car was also found abandoned in a Walmart parking lot with the passanger side window broken.
Clinton, her husband reported her missing two and a half hours after she was supposed to be at work.
"I called her several times," Clinton Heichel said Wednesday. "I texted her several times and then actually at about 9:30ish, her phone got to the point where you would call and it went straight to voicemail."
The victim’s bank card was used as two different gas stations where it was said a man was sitting driving in her car. Clues like a license plate and tire tracks led to Heiche’s body.
Her mother, Lorelei Ritmiller, retold her memories of her daughter to city council.
""She's gentle. She's compassionate...She's this compassionate laughing person. Her heart is as big as the sun ... This is just a great human being. This is a person you'd think no one could ever hurt," Ritmiller said, according to ABC News affiliate KATU.
"Whitney in many ways represented all of our wives, daughters, and loved ones," said Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis.