Neighbor arrested after barista's body is found - KPTV - FOX 12

Neighbor arrested after barista's body is found

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Jonathan Holt Jonathan Holt
Whitney Heichel Whitney Heichel
Whitney Heichel's husband and mother at a press conference Thursday. Whitney Heichel's husband and mother at a press conference Thursday.
GRESHAM, OR (KPTV) -

This morning community members and loved ones lit candles for a moment of silence in memory of Whitney Heichel, whose body was found yesterday by police.

Shocked and in disbelief, mourners gathered at Starbucks on Northeast Burnside in Gresham where her shift was supposed to start at 7:00 a.m. this morning.

Gresham police announced her body was discovered on Larch Mountain Friday and a man was arrested for aggravated murder.

Jonathan Holt of Gresham is charged with killing the 21-year-old Gresham woman. Investigators said he is an acquaintance of the Heichel family and lived in the same apartment complex as Whitney Heichel and her husband Clint.

Police said some of Whitney Heichel's personal items were found in a parking lot in a garbage bin at the Walmart store where her SUV was discovered with the passenger window smashed out.

More of her belongings, according to police, were discovered in another garbage bin at a nearby shopping center.

Gresham Police Chief Craig Junginger said information then led investigators to Holt. He voluntarily went to the police department for one interview and then a follow-up interview.

Police said inconsistencies then turned up between the two interviews. Investigators obtained DNA and fingerprints from Holt.

Junginger said additional evidence then narrowed the focus onto Holt. Results from the crime lab tied him to Whitney Heichel's car.

Holt returned to the police department Friday night for another interview and was arrested. Junginger said Whitney Heichel's body was then found on Larch Mountain.

"We would have liked to see a happy conclusion, but it's not," said family spokesman Jim Vaughn.

Vaughn said the family has received messages, support and prayers from people all over the world during the last few days.

"We will heal because of the love we have for each other," he said.

Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Whitney Heichel's body was found on Larch Mountain three days after she disappeared between her Gresham apartment and the nearby Starbucks where she worked. More>>

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