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.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 11:11 PM EDT2013-06-19 03:11:45 GMT
A former Sherwood High School teacher is facing charges of sex abuse, the alleged victims three students. Washington County deputies say Denise Keesee turned herself into detectives today after monthsMore >
A former Sherwood High School teacher is facing charges of sex abuse and police say the victims are two former students.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:47 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:47:39 GMT
A group of homeowners in Clackamas County is banding together to send crooks a strong message about an increase in crime in their neighborhood. They're starting to post signs that read, "Glock block. WeMore >
Homeowners in the Milwaukie area are posting signs in their neighborhood that say: "Glock block. We don't call 9-1-1."More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her. Jayden Sink raised nearly $200 on Friday while she sold lemonadeMore >
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her.More >
A driver is now facing charges for the death of a man dribbling a soccer ball along the West Coast with a mission of making it to the World Cup. Richard Swanson, 42, of Seattle, was hit from behind byMore >
A driver is now facing charges for the death of a man dribbling a soccer ball along the West Coast with a mission of making it to the World Cup.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 11:27 AM EDT2013-06-18 15:27:20 GMT
A 3-year-old girl was taken by Life Flight to the trauma center after falling into a crawlspace and hitting her head. Emergency crews said it happened just before 6 p.m. Monday on Meyers Road in OregonMore >
A 3-year-old girl was taken by Life Flight to the trauma center after falling into a crawlspace and hitting her head.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:59:19 GMT
LYNCHBURG, VA (RNN) – Kimberly Burke is used to capturing emotion. As a wedding photographer, she has an eye for tender moments, like the photo she snapped of a Marine and his bride praying that has goneMore >
A quiet moment captured before a couple wed has brought collective "awws" by millions on the internet.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:58 PM EDT2013-06-18 16:58:23 GMT
Clackamas and Gladstone firefighters are responding to High Rocks Park in the Gladstone area to search for a missing person in the Clackamas River.Further details weren't immediately available, but FOXMore >
Construction workers called 911 after spotting a man struggling in the water as he was swept down river near High Rocks Park.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 3:19 PM EDT2013-06-17 19:19:36 GMT
A disgruntled man is accused of filing a false police report about a rape threat and possible hostage situation that shut down a Gresham neighborhood early Monday morning. Police said the report cameMore >
A disgruntled man is accused of filing a false police report about a rape threat and possible hostage situation that shut down a Gresham neighborhood early Monday morning.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:05 PM EDT2013-06-19 01:05:43 GMT
A former coach at Catlin Gabel school turned himself in on charges of luring a minor Monday morning. Washington County deputies said Deonte Huff was originally arrested back in May at his apartment onMore >
A former coach at Catlin Gabel school turned himself in on charges of luring a minor Monday morning.More >