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  1. #1
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    OR - Whitney Heichel, 21, Gresham, 16 Oct 2012 #1

    Missing woman's SUV found with busted window

    GRESHAM, Ore. - A 21-year-old Gresham woman has disappeared under what police have labeled 'suspicious' circumstances.

    Whitney Heichel did not show up to work Tuesday morning and her vehicle, a black 1999 Ford Explorer (pictured in the photo gallery), was later found abandoned in the parking lot of the Wood Village WalMart at 23500 N.E. Sandy Boulevard.

    The vehicle's window was shattered and it appeared as if someone had rummaged around inside.

    Gresham police are looking for leads in the case. At this point, investigators do not know if Heichel left of her own accord and is simply unaccounted for, or if she was a victim of foul play.

    http://www.katu.com/news/local/Gresh...174489061.html
    Last edited by KateB; 05-24-2015 at 12:42 PM. Reason: repair url tag.
    You are the anchor to my soul, you won't let go ...

  2. #2
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    The following is a timeline from Tuesday that detectives have put together:

    • 6:45 a.m. - Heichel left her apartment in the 700 block of Southeast Highway 26. She was headed to work at the Starbucks in East Gresham near Powell and Burnside, which is just five minutes away from her home.
    • 7 a.m. - Heichel was supposed to be at work by this time but never showed up.
    • 9:56 a.m. - Heichel's husband called 9-1-1 to report her missing.
    • 12:30 p.m. - Friends and family reported that Heichel's ATM card was used at a gas station at Southeast 257th and Stark. Detectives verified that was correct and that her vehicle was at the gas station at 9:14 a.m.
    • 1 p.m. - Family and friends begin distributing flyers and discover Heichel's vehicle at the WalMart in Wood Village at 23500 N.E. Sandy Blvd. The vehicle's passenger side window had been broken out.

    http://www.katu.com/news/local/Gresh...174489061.html


    You are the anchor to my soul, you won't let go ...

  3. #3
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    Her vehicle, a 1999 black Ford Explorer, was later found parked outside the Walmart store in Wood Village. Police towed it away as part of their investigation. (See missing woman poster at right.)

    A family member told KGW several transactions were made on Heichel’s debit card, including at ATM machines and 3 different gas stations.

    They said that gas station attendants at one of those locations -- a truck stop in Troutdale - remembered seeing her SUV and said Heichel as sitting in the passenger seat with a man driving. They said the man was acting suspicious and hurried, buying only a small amount if gas.

    http://www.nwcn.com/home/?fId=174492...&fDomain=10202
    You are the anchor to my soul, you won't let go ...

  4. #4
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    Her facebook page-
    https://www.facebook.com/whitney.heichel?fref=ts

    What a sweet girl, I hope she is found safe!!
    You are the anchor to my soul, you won't let go ...

  5. #5
    So scary! Very interesting circumstances. So many questions!

    I wonder who the male was that was reportedly seen with her? Why purchase gas for a vehicle that you're just going to abandon? Maybe just to make a purchase that could be documented? But then, why abandon the vehicle in a WalMart parking lot, which most likely has security footage. Then again, I'm sure the gas station does too...Maybe he got out of the vehicle and she locked it, and he busted the windows? Where was the husband and how did he know she was missing that morning? Did her work call him when she didn't show?

  6. #6
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    What could have happened to her in such a short distance? Did she stop to get gas on the way to work and someone jumped in her car? Or maybe someone at Starbucks got her as she was exiting her vehicle there?

    The passenger window of her car being broken out, is very concerning. Where would the guy have taken her after her car was left in the parking lot? Are there homes or apartments close by? Taking someone by force on foot is pretty risky.

    The locations are all within five miles of each other.
    http://goo.gl/maps/ZPCS0

    http://goo.gl/maps/4NloF
    There are some homes adjacent to the Walmart parking lot.
    Last edited by Knox; 10-17-2012 at 12:04 AM.
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  7. #7
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    She is beautiful and from her facebook account seems very nice. I noticed that recently she'd said she had an earache and just before that her husband was home sick. Doubt that those things have anything to do with her disappearance. If she had gone to a doctor appointment, she would have called in to work. Also, her husband would have known most likely, and she wouldn't have abandoned her car. I sure hope she wasn't kidnapped but it doesn't look good for her. I wonder who the man in the car was. Does Walmart have video footage of where her car was parked? I'm glad they started looking for her right away and didn't wait.

  8. #8
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    I wonder how long she's been married, and how long she was with her husband before they got married. She's only 21, so I keep wondering if this could be an ex-boyfriend that was jealous kinda thing.

    Eta: looking thru pics on her fb, it looks like they've been married for a while...maybe since at least 2010? I wonder if there's someone from Starbucks where she worked that had a thing for her? Starbucks tends to have regulars...
    I really hope she's found okay...the pics of her and her husband are so adorable and they look so happy!
    Last edited by bdawk20; 10-17-2012 at 12:06 AM. Reason: Eta

  9. #9
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    They were engaged in December 2010, according to her facebook page. Looks like a pretty stable relationship, IMO.
    You are the anchor to my soul, you won't let go ...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdawk20 View Post
    I wonder how long she's been married, and how long she was with her husband before they got married. She's only 21, so I keep wondering if this could be an ex-boyfriend that was jealous kinda thing.

    Eta: looking thru pics on her fb, it looks like they've been married for a while...maybe since at least 2010? I wonder if there's someone from Starbucks where she worked that had a thing for her? Starbucks tends to have regulars...
    I really hope she's found okay...the pics of her and her husband are so adorable and they look so happy!
    At least two years, engagement party was in mid-2010 according to her FB photos. They seem like a loving couple, how very scary.

    ETA: just saw your ETA.

    *All posts are my opinion only, and only my opinion.*

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    You are the anchor to my soul, you won't let go ...

  12. #12
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    What a beautiful young woman. I hope that she is found safe/alive. I hope LE is looking over the Walmart security cams. I wonder if the gas stations had any? And the ATM surely had a camera, right?
    Last edited by GulfCoastKAT; 10-17-2012 at 01:03 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheWhoMustNotBeNamed View Post
    So scary! Very interesting circumstances. So many questions!

    I wonder who the male was that was reportedly seen with her? Why purchase gas for a vehicle that you're just going to abandon? Maybe just to make a purchase that could be documented? But then, why abandon the vehicle in a WalMart parking lot, which most likely has security footage. Then again, I'm sure the gas station does too...Maybe he got out of the vehicle and she locked it, and he busted the windows? Where was the husband and how did he know she was missing that morning? Did her work call him when she didn't show?
    I hate to say this, but maybe he purchased enough gas to drive her somewhere with the intention of coming back alone, and then he dumped the car and either walked away or had his own car there. I just have a feeling this might have been planned by whoever took her. I do believe she was taken, I don't think at all that she ran off.


    Jmo

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GulfCoastKAT View Post
    What a beautiful young woman. I hope that she is found safe/alive. I hope LE is looking over the Walmart security cams. I wonder if the gas stations had any? And the ATM surely had a camera, right?
    Yes, I think all atm's have cameras. Hoping that they've got video of this somewhere.

    Really not feeling like she left on her own.

    Hopefully they are talking to the other baristas and seeing what "regular" didn't show up for his coffee today.

  15. #15
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    There are a few things that stood out to me about the information that was released.
    The first thing is the use of the credit card by the man, and not by Whitney. Typically if you use a credit card or debit card for gas, there is more to the transaction than simply swiping the card. For debit, it requires your pin code, and for credit card you have to input the zip code connected to the account. Perhaps he got this information from her drivers license, but the fact that ATM transactions require the pin code, she must have provided the information.
    What could this person have said or done to her in order to take control of her vehicle and to get the information from her?
    I find it very odd that this took place so early in the morning.
    I also was surprised by how quickly her husband called in to the police to report her missing. I do think it is great that the family mobilized so quickly to get the word out.

    The only scenario I can think of is something along the lines of a desperate criminal encounters her somewhere on her way to work and somehow coerces her to go along with him. Why she would sit in the passenger seat while this person was pumping gas is strange. Perhaps there was an accomplice in the vehicle who was threatening her with a gun.
    What does not make any sense is why she has not turned up yet. I am concerned about the fact that the man at the gas station was described as acting nervous, as that does not bode well for her.
    I am thinking there is definitely more to this story than we know. I can't help but wonder about possible estranged relations.... If this were the case I could understand why she did not scream like hell at the gas stations or try to escape.

    Please let this beautiful woman come home safely.

    Of course it's my own opinion, the opinion rental shop was fresh out of borrowed opinions.

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