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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

The Whitney Heichel Kidnap Murder Case

     Whitney Heichel, at 6:45 in the morning of Tuesday, October 16, 2012, walked out of her Gresham, Oregon apartment with the intent of driving her 1999 Ford Explorer to her nearby job at Starbucks. That day she had to attend an early morning employee meeting. Instead of reporting to work she was seen two and a half hours later sitting in the passenger's side of her SUV at a service station in Troutdale, Oregon. (The man behind the wheel had used Heichel's ATM card to purchase gas.)

     A Starbucks employee called Heichel's apartment when she didn't show for work. Whitney's husband Clinton, at 9:56 that morning, called 911 and reported his 5-foot-2, 120 pound wife missing. Ninety minutes later police officers found Heichel's vehicle in the parking lot of the Walmart store in Wood Village. The front passenger's side window had been broken out. The next day children found the missing woman's cellphone in the brush between the service station and the abandoned SUV.

     Detectives began questioning residents of Heichel's apartment complex. They spoke to a 25-year-old acquaintance and neighbor named Jonathan Holt. The investigators grew suspicious when Holt's account of himself on the morning in question contained glaring inconsistencies. Detectives grilled Holt on Wednesday the 17th, and when they interrogated him again the next day he confessed. The police  also recovered the 9 mm pistol Holt used to murder the victim.

     On the morning of October 16, 2012 Mr. Holt waited outside the apartment complex for Whitney Heichel. When she came out of her apartment he asked her for a lift. Holt had been in Heichel's SUV about five minutes when he pulled a gun and told her to drive to an area near Roslyn Lake. At the lake Holt forced Heichel at gunpoint to give him oral sex. He then shot her to death.

     After murdering Whitney Heichel Jonathan Holt drove the body to Larch Mountain, a 40 minute drive up winding roads from the apartment complex. After hiding her corpse in the underbrush he drove to the Walmart parking lot where he abandoned the vehicle. (Holt had either broken the passenger's side window to throw off the police or it had been blown out by a bullet when he shot her.)

     Twelve hours after Whitney Heichel didn't show up for work at Starbuck's a pair of Holt's friends spotted Holt walking along 257th Avenue in Gresham. When they offered him a ride he refused, saying, "I just need to finish clearing my head." A short time later Mr. Holt's friends tracked him down and asked him again to get into the car. After accepting the lift he told his friends a strange story. He said that on his way to work that morning at a Swan Island vending company two black men robbed him at gunpoint. Holt later admitted to detectives that this story was untrue. After confessing to Whitney Heichel's murder he admitting to downloading child pornography onto his laptop computer.

     According to Holt's wife Amanda, her husband felt like a failure and this had let "so many things build up. I think he just loses it." 

     On Friday, October 19, 2012 police officers found Whitney Heichel's body in a remote spot in the woods on Larch Mountain. Besides the confession detectives linked the suspect to Whitney Heichel's murder through his fingerprints and other physical evidence that crime scene investigators recovered from her SUV.

     According to medical examiner Dr. Christopher Young, Whitney Heichel had been shot four times. On Monday, October 22, 2012 Jonathan Holt, at his arraignment hearing in a Clackamas County court, was charged with aggravated murder. The judge denied him bail. His trial was set for April 2013.

     Jonathan Holt in July 2013, pleaded guilty to the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of his neighbor. The judge sentenced him to life without the possibility of parole. 

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for getting this in the news. I wanted to let you know, the window was busted, because when he got of the vehicle (and took the keys with him) Whitney locked the doors, he smashed her window in to unlock the door. This is a fact.

    Friend of Whitney's

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    Replies
    1. sad not fear him.
      pray.
      ..a wonderful article ..prayer not fear.

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    2. all of us may be caught up in doing bad.
      too sad tell not give him death penalty
      ..sad let friend miss important learning and babysat...no time ..make the opportune time.matt5..i hope clint stops the hate..bc hated what holt did..very repentant

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