Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Holt to enter plea in Heichel murder case

Holt scheduled to appear in Clackamas County court on July 8 for the kidnap, sexual assault and aggravated murder of his Gresham neighbor


A Gresham man charged with the kidnap, sexual assault and aggravated murder of his 21-year-old neighbor Whitney Heichel is scheduled to enter a plea in the case on July 8, according to scheduling documents for the Clackamas County Court.by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Jonathan Daniel Holt

Jonathan Daniel Holt, 25, also faces charges of burglary and encouraging child sex abuse in Multnomah County in connection with the case.

Clackamas County prosecutor Steven Mygrant and Holt's public defender Conor Huseby declined to comment on the scheduled plea.

The case made national headlines last October when Heichel disappeared early in the morning of Oct. 16, on her way to work at a nearby Starbucks. Police and members of her church searched a wide geographical area for her, eventually recovering her body three days later in rugged terrain on Larch Mountain located east of Corbett in rural Multnomah County.

Holt lived with his wife in the same apartment complex as Heichel and her husband in the 700 block of Southeast Mount Hood Highway. Both couples also attended the same Jehovah's Witness church.

Police and prosecutors allege that on the morning of Heiche's disappearance, Holt waited outside her apartment. When she came out to go to work at 6:45 a.m., he asked her for a ride.

Once inside the car, he allegedly forced her at gunpoint to the area of Rosyln Lake in Clackamas County. There, he reportedly sexually assaulted the young woman, shot her four times, then dumped her body on Larch Mountain, before abandoning her 1999 Ford Explorer in the parking lot of the Wood Village Wal-Mart.

The Multnomah County charges stem from the investigation into Heichel's disappearance, which revealed that earlier during the summer, Holt entered Heichel's apartment, looked through the couple's belongings and stole her husband's cellular phone. Investigators also recovered images of child pornography on Holt's laptop computer, external hard drives and flash drives.

Holt is scheduled to appear in Multnomah County Circuit Court on those charges July 11.



Local Weather

Cloudy

47°F

Gresham

Cloudy

Humidity: 93%

Wind: 0 mph

  • 24 Nov 2014

    PM Rain 53°F 49°F

  • 25 Nov 2014

    Showers 57°F 51°F