GRESHAM, Ore. – Police said Saturday there was no reason to believe that Whitney Heichel and her suspected killer were anything more than acquaintances.
Jonathan Daniel Holt, 24, was arrested Friday night in connection with the Gresham woman’s murder. Holt lived at the same apartment complex as Heichel and her husband Clint.
“I don’t know how we have these people around here, especially with our kids,” said neighbor Maria Sandoval, who lives in the same Gresham apartment complex.
Sandoval said she never saw Holt and Heichel together.
Another neighbor who was a close friend of Heichel's told KATU News that she had never seen Holt's face before Friday night's news conference.
Police said they received information that led them to Holt, but that information is unclear.
During interviews with Holt, police said there were inconsistencies in his story.
At the same time Holt voluntarily came in for an additional interview Friday evening, police said investigators discovered Heichel’s body. Holt was arrested at about the same time, police said.
He is expected to appear in Clackamas County court on Monday.
Holt grew up in East Portland and attended school in the Parkrose School District. Neighbors of Holt’s family told KATU News he was a Jehovah’s Witness.
“I see his wife with him,” Sandoval said. “I think he was married.”
Sandoval said she did notice some strange behavior from Holt, especially when he returned home from riding his motorcycle.
“He always wore his helmet all the time, never showed his face,” Sandoval said. “Like, why does this guy never take it off? He’s walking to his apartment, doesn’t need it anymore.”
Sandoval said she’s still in complete disbelief.
“I feel so bad. When I heard the news yesterday [that] they found her, I started crying,” Sandoval said. “How is it possible he did this to her? Why?”