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.
Saturday, April 12 2014 6:07 AM EDT2014-04-12 10:07:09 GMT
An incredible photo snapped Saturday at the iconic Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore is going viral. A mother humpback whale and her calf were cruising just offshore when a set rolled in. J.T. Gray of NorthMore >
An incredible photo snapped Saturday at the iconic Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore is going viral.More >
Wednesday, April 16 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-04-17 01:12:17 GMT
Police are searching for the ex-wife of notorious child killer Ward Weaver in connection to a meth dealing investigation. Canby police served a search warrant at the Forest Manor Apartment Complex onMore >
Officers said they have received multiple reports that methamphetamine was being sold by 53-year-old Maria Shaw, also known as Maria Weaver and Maria Stout, in Canby.More >
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:00:28 GMT
A Mount Tabor reservoir that holds Portland's drinking water has been taken offline out of fear that a group of trespassers urinated in it. Five people were seen at Mount Tabor Park around 1 a.m. Wednesday.More >
A Mount Tabor reservoir that holds Portland's drinking water has been taken offline after a teenager urinated in the reservoir. More >
Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:22:41 GMT
A dead whale that washed ashore on the Oregon coast was buried at the beach Wednesday. The massive 40-foot gray whale first appeared on the south jetty at Fort Stevens State Park Sunday. Word spread quicklyMore >
A dead whale that washed ashore on the Oregon coast was buried at the beach on Wednesday.More >
Wednesday, April 16 2014 2:52 PM EDT2014-04-16 18:52:38 GMT
Portland's newest bridge now has a name. TriMet announced Wednesday that the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge will be called Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People. A bridge naming committeeMore >
TriMet announced Wednesday that the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge will be called Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People.More >
Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:42 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:42:32 GMT
A dead, decomposing 40-foot gray whale washed ashore in the Oregon Coast town of Seaside on Tuesday morning, and marine experts advise staying away from the massive carcass because it's "really nasty."KeithMore >
Experts advise keeping your dog on a leash while at the beach in Seaside, mainly because dealing with your pet after it rolls around in a dead whale would be a "horrible way to spend your vacation."More >
Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-04-16 02:46:24 GMT
Police have identified the two people found dead in Portland-area rivers on Monday. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office River Patrol Unit headed toward Sauvie Island at 1:15 p.m. after getting wordMore >
Police have identified the two people found dead in Portland-area rivers on Monday, both had previously been reported missing.More >
A pair of sex trafficking suspects are accused of ramming into two patrol cars and driving through a fence in Aloha. The situation began before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police were following a man and a womanMore >
Police were following a man and a woman in a car as part of a sex trafficking investigation. Officers said the suspects had dropped off a 17-year-old girl at a hotel.More >