Friends plan to honor Whitney Heichel 1 year after murder - KCTV5

Friends plan to honor Whitney Heichel 1 year after murder

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Whitney Heichel Whitney Heichel
Jonathan Holt Jonathan Holt

One year ago, a community's concern turned into devastation when the search for a missing 21-year-old Gresham woman ended in murder.

Whitney Heichel was reported missing by her husband on Oct. 16, 2012, when she didn't show up for work at Starbucks.

Police and search crews canvassed the community looking for her, while investigators received dozens of tips as the story generated interest across the country.

Then, during a late night press conference on Oct. 19, Gresham police announced they had found Heichel's body on Larch Mountain and arrested a suspect.

Investigators said Jonathan Holt admitted to police he waited outside Heichel's apartment and asked her for a ride on Oct. 16. He then pulled a gun on Heichel and forced her to drive to Roslyn Lake in Clackamas County where he sexually assaulted her. He then shot and killed her and dumped her body on Larch Mountain.

Holt pleaded guilty to murder in July and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole.

One year after she was murdered, friends and former classmates said they planned to honor Heichel with a moment of silence at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Starbucks where she worked, 2233 N.E. Burnside Rd. in Gresham.

One friend of Heichel's contacted FOX 12 and said they hoped to "let her know we haven't forgotten her sweet soul."

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