Missing woman's SUV found with busted window

Missing woman's SUV found with busted window »Play Video
Whitney Heichel in a photo from her Facebook page.

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.

Police are asking anyone who might have seen Heichel (who is 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds) or her vehicle (further described as having tinted tail lights and Oregon license plate 189 EJZ) to call the Gresham Police Tip Line at (503) 618-2719.

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.