Police say Holt stole car in 2011
Jonathan Daniel Holt said he had a mental breakdown when he stole his friend's car and then returned it in August 2011, according to a Gresham police report.
Fourteen months later, Holt is the man accused of kidnapping, robbing, assaulting and ultimately killing 21-year-old Whitney Heichel of Gresham on Tuesday, Oct. 16. He was arrested Friday Oct. 19 about the same time investigators found Heichel's body. Holt turns 25 on Wednesday, Oct. 24, inside the Clackamas County Jail.
Holt and his friend, Nathan Bargas, went to the Best Buy at 1148 N.W. Norman Ave. in Gresham to purchase a game at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 18, 2011. Bargas, who was driving a 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, went inside the store, leaving Holt in the rental car with the key in the ignition.
When Bargas returned, the car was gone.
He told police that the two would occasionally play jokes on each other. But when Holt never returned, Bargas eventually contacted authorities, to report the vehicle stolen and Holt as a missing person.
Bargas told police that Holt recently completed EMT training, was a well-known and trusted friend and that this was very much out of character.
Bargas also told authorities that he didn't know where his friend could have gone. But he did say that earlier in the day Holt showed him a house in Troutdale that he and his wife were planning to rent
When police contacted Holt's wife, Amanda Holt, she said she knew nothing about the Troutdale home or her husband's whereabouts. The Holt's were living in an apartment on the 800 block of Northeast Roberts Avenue in Gresham at the time.
Holt arrived at Bargas' home at 12:30 a.m. the following morning, knocked on the back door and apologized for taking the car.
Holt told Bargas that he had a mental breakdown and needed to get away and rethink his life and strengthen his priorities, the police report states.
Bargas did not press charges.
Gresham police contacted Holt who was cooperative and apologetic, and who told the officer he just 'needed one-on-one-time.'
Holt also said he went to a park in Washington, where he grew up, for several hours before returning.
Holt was arraigned on seven counts of aggravated murder with a firearm in a Clackamas County court on Monday.