Whitney Heichel's family released the following statement on Saturday night:
"We are profoundly devastated by the loss of Whitney Heichel. She was a loved and valued member of our faith. No words can express the pain and agony her family and friends are undergoing as we cope with the bewildering loss of Whitney. We will continue to support and help one another in this time of grief. Whitney's family, friends, and members of our faith draw strength from our God, and his words of comfort found in the bible. 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. For us, this is not a surprise, because this is "what we do" as an organization.
"Yet the response we experienced from others has also proved that there many good people in our community. The loving concern from ones that didn't even know Whitney or her family has deeply touched our hearts. The kind expressions, and support from perfect strangers has confirmed to us that there is much good in people, and this good moves them to display "loving acts of kindness". And though, while this event in our lives is tragic, we saw the positive effects it has had on this community. The events of the last four days moved people to take action in many ways. The main goal was to find Whitney. With the help of many resources we accomplished that goal. Sadly not in the way we had hoped.
"The family would like to express special thanks to those who were especially involved in finding Whitney. First to the Gresham, Multnomah Co, Troutdale, Clackamas, State Patrol police departments, and even the FBI. They did more than their "civic duty". Our hand in hand experience with Gresham PD, and their staff demonstrated to all of us that they "truly cared". They wanted to find Whitney just as if she was their own daughter or close friend.
"The family would also like to thank and acknowledge the efforts to those who assisted the police in the search. So many man-hours were spent with one focus, to find Whitney and acquire evidence that would lead to the arrest of the person that committed this horrible crime. They accomplished that, and we are so thankful for your hard work in our behalf. Whitney's mom expressed that if she could she would "give a big hug to every single person involved in assisting and supporting the family to find Whitney." Whitney's husband was equally moved by all the support shown to him and his family. He said "I cannot believe the love and support shown by police, media the business community and people in general. Words cannot express my heartfelt gratitude".
"We would also thank so many in the local business community. There are really too many to mention in this statement. Yet we would like to especially like to thank the efforts of Wal-Mart and the Starbucks Corporation for their tireless support in assisting the family. And finely we would like to thank the media who gave us such positive coverage right from the very beginning. All of the local TV stations contributed an integral part in presenting and keeping in the minds of all in their audience our common goal to bring Whitney home. Again, from our family we can't thank you enough."
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Thursday, March 6 2014 9:41 AM EST2014-03-06 14:41:58 GMT
A 17-year-old Central Catholic High School student has died, one day after the school informed parents of suspected meningococcal meningitis.Central Catholic's principal confirmed the death of junior JacobMore >
Dozens of Central Catholic students posted messages on Twitter using the hashtag #RIPJake as they mourned the death of Jake Parkhurst. More >
Wednesday, March 5 2014 7:58 AM EST2014-03-05 12:58:59 GMT
By Laura Ly, CNN (CNN) -- A high school senior's lawsuit against her mother and father for financial support and college tuition hit a hurdle Tuesday when a New Jersey judge denied the teenager's requestMore >
A high school senior's lawsuit against her mother and father for financial support and college tuition hit a hurdle Tuesday when a New Jersey judge denied the teenager's request for immediate financial assistance from the parents.More >
Wednesday, March 5 2014 10:54 PM EST2014-03-06 03:54:03 GMT
A massive beam on the back of a semi-trailer burst through the cabin and broke out a front window, and the driver walked away without any injuries. Tualatin police said they were called out to the sceneMore >
A massive beam on the back of a semi-trailer crashed through the cabin in Tualatin, and the driver walked away without any injuries. Photos l Air 12 Video More >
Wednesday, March 5 2014 11:07 PM EST2014-03-06 04:07:00 GMT
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Police said Joshua Howard, 28, was in the room and called 911. He is the boyfriend of the child's mother.More >
Tuesday, March 4 2014 10:29 PM EST2014-03-05 03:29:11 GMT
Police said a drunk duo denied service at a Eugene pizza place tried to set the business on fire by lighting their homemade moonshine. Eugene police said it started at 10 p.m. Monday at Whirled Pies,More >
Police said two drunk people denied service at a Eugene pizza place tried to set the business on fire by lighting their homemade moonshine.More >
Wednesday, March 5 2014 9:30 PM EST2014-03-06 02:30:25 GMT
A Forest Grove High School senior died in his sleep overnight. A Forest Grove School District spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday that Cody Fellows had passed away. Principal Karen Robinson posted a letterMore >
A Forest Grove School District spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday that Cody Fellows had passed away.More >
Wednesday, March 5 2014 1:30 PM EST2014-03-05 18:30:10 GMT
The car of a missing 32-year-old man from Federal Way, WA was found at an Interstate 5 rest area near Albany. Adam Standridge was reported missing Monday after leaving the day before from his home inMore >
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Wednesday, March 5 2014 10:13 PM EST2014-03-06 03:13:18 GMT
A 24 year old man pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of his girlfriend's young son. Four year old Zachary Dutro-Boggess collapsed at a Tigard homeless shelter in August 2012. He passed away soonMore >
A 24-year-old man pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of his girlfriend's young son.