A suspect has been detained by Phoenix police in connection with the murder of Lauren Heike, 29. Here is everything we currently know about the Heike’s case so far.
Lauren Heike’s death:
Heike was hiking on a desert trail near East Libby Street and North 65th Place on April 28 when she was killed by an assailant, according to Phoenix police.
According to her family, Heike resided near the desert trail and had only recently moved into her flat. Lauren Heike, from Kitsap County, Washington, was compassionate to everyone she met, her family says.
Police in Phoenix, Arizona, responded to a 911 call regarding a injured woman who had been in the desert close to 6500 Libby Street at around 10:30 on Saturday morning.
Lauren Heike was discovered by police just before 11 a.m. on April 29 in a desert area near a neighborhood at 64th Street and Mayo Boulevard.
Heike was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Phoenix Fire Department. Police confirmed that it was Heike’s body on May 1, 2023.
Police released video footage of the person they believe to be responsible for Heike’s death on Wednesday. The man can be seen running in the footage amid what looks to be a desert landscape. His height is listed as being between 5-foot-8 and 6 feet tall.
He can be seen wearing light shirts and black pants and carrying a backpack. Police asked for public assistance in finding the man.
NEW INFO ON HOMICIDE investigation. Police are hoping someone can help them identify the person in this short video who may have info on a homicide case from 6500 E Libby Street. Anyone with info call police or @SilentwitnessAZ
Original media advisory:https://t.co/8ITIbfihky pic.twitter.com/2vnwY840NC
— Phoenix Police (@PhoenixPolice) May 3, 2023
Who is the suspect?
Authorities say a man is in arrest in connection with the murder of Lauren Heike on a north Phoenix path. The suspect, who is believed to be in his early 20s, was reportedly detained at his apartment at Scottsdale and Bell roads on Thursday at about 6:30 p.m.
This location is less than a mile from the trail where 29-year-old Lauren Heike’s body was discovered. The police have not disclosed his name.
#Exclusive moment when Phoenix Police take in custody the suspect connected to the homicide of Lauren Heike. @TelemundoAZ will have more info and images at 10PM. @agarcilazonews will be at a press conference PD will be providing later tonight. pic.twitter.com/vI6eUMhyV8
— Christian Villegas (@chrisvillegas29) May 5, 2023
The person in question is the same as the one on the police camera clip that was released a few days ago, said Sgt. Melissa Soliz.
“Right now, he is the person that we believe to be responsible or in connection to the murder of Lauren Heike,” she said.
Phoenix police have taken a man into custody in connection with the murder of 29-year-old Lauren Heike. pic.twitter.com/1j4Qq2b7nF
— Phoenix Police (@PhoenixPolice) May 5, 2023
Soliz didn’t specify whether the suspect was familiar with Heike. While more information regarding the suspect will be released today, Soliz says that investigators are working tirelessly.
“Our detectives are going to ensure that every piece of evidence is looked at carefully, every angle, and give their full effort on this case,” she added.
“We’re hoping that the community can rest a little easier knowing this person is off the streets.”
Heike was attacked from behind while hiking on the trail on April 29 at about 10 a.m., according to police, and her body exhibited symptoms of trauma. Police said Heike was in a place where she would not have been seen by other trail users.
Lt. James Hester of the Phoenix Police Department remarked at the news conference that the savage attack on Ms. Lauren Heike was “unconscionable.”
Police have not revealed any possible motives. The authorities have not yet disclosed how Heike was brutally murdered.
Police says that the public must be aware of the surroundings, “If a hike or walk is in your plans, do so with a partner,” police said. “If you see something suspicious, call the police and be a good witness.”
Heike’s family joined the police officers on stage and pleaded with the public to come forward with any information that could assist them in bringing their daughter justice.
Source: Phoenix Police department Facebook page
“She got up, talked to her friends. The victim’s mother, Lana Heike, said, “It was her day off, she got her coffee, and she went walking, and she was joyful, happy – it helps us a lot. “We need people’s help to tell us what happened after that.”
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is urged to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6151.
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