Search continues for woman gone missing on way to work

Search continues for woman gone missing on way to work »Play Video
Clint and Whitney Heichel. (Family photo)

WOOD VILLAGE, Ore. – Clint Heichel describes his 21-year-old wife as sweet and dependable.

"She's beautiful, and she's a little ball of energy and full of life," he said about Whitney, who left for work Tuesday morning and hasn't been seen since. Police are calling her disappearance suspicious.

Clint said when she left for work nothing was unusual.

"She got ready – her normal thing – got up and just kissed me goodbye. I woke up and said, 'I'll see you when you get home,'" he said.

Friends found Whitney's abandoned SUV just after 11 a.m. in the parking lot of the Wood Village Walmart – about five miles from her home – while passing out missing-person fliers.

Whitney's black 1999 Ford Explorer was backed into a parking space in the back corner of the lot with the passenger-side window shattered. 
Police searched a dumpster in the same parking lot, looking for clues.

Clint said he and Whitney only live a couple of minutes from where she works at a Starbucks. But he said she never made it for her 7 a.m. shift.

"(At) about 8:15 her boss called me and said, 'Hey, I was just curious, did Whitney decide to be sick or not feeling well? Have you seen her or talked to her?'"

Clint said bank records show her ATM card was used at local gas stations.

"One at 9:22 and then one at about 9:30, which was kind of odd – both for gas eight minutes apart," he said.

Right now, police are only confirming the charge at a Shell station on 257th and Stark.

Police believe the SUV may have been in the east Multnomah County area, east of Gresham and possibly in Sandy between 6:45 a.m. and 11 a.m.

They are asking anyone who may have seen the SUV during that time to call the Gresham Police Department tip line at 503-618-2719.

The SUV is a black 1999 Ford Explorer with tinted taillights and the Oregon license plate 189 EJZ.

At some point, the front passenger side window of the SUV was smashed out. Police said the SUV may have been driving with the broken window that may have appeared to be rolled down.

Clint said something just doesn't add up on the surveillance video of Whitney's SUV at the Shell.

"There's no reason she should be coming up from there, and it was at 9:13, I think, when her truck pulled in there," he said.

Clint said he's just trying to stay strong while waiting for any word from Whitney.

"You hope the best and just never give up – we won't give up until she's found," he said.

Clint said they are hiring a private searcher to come scour different locations.

Police are asking anyone who might have seen Whitney (who is 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds) to call the Gresham Police Tip Line at (503) 618-2719.

There is also a Facebook page dedicated to the search for Whitney.