Report: Holt, Heichel attended same church

Report: Holt, Heichel attended same church

GRESHAM, Ore. – The man accused of murdering Whitney Heichel was a member of her church.

Jonathan Holt and Whitney Heichel attended the same Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in Gresham, ABC News confirmed.

Holt and Heichel also lived in the same Gresham apartment complex, where Holt lived with his wife.

In an interview with ABC News, Whitney's husband Clint Heichel said he helped Holt jump-start his motorcycle recently and they looked after Holt's cats and plants when the Holts were away.

Holt was moved to the Clackamas County Jail Sunday. He is expected to appear by video in court Monday at 3 p.m. to face aggravated murder charges.

Witness Kingdom Hall in Gresham issued a statement saying they were "shocked" to find out Holt had been accused of the crime and that he was an "irregular" attendee at meetings. "We had no indications that would lead us, prior to this event that he would be capable of being involved in what is alleged to have happened," the statement read in part.  >>>Read the full statement

His parents did not answer the door at their Northeast Portland home Sunday. Their neighbor, Vincent Wilson, said he’s known Holt since he was seven years old.

Wilson said he noticed Holt visiting his parents a week ago.

“Something snapped or something,” Wilson said. "If it’s true, it’s like something that nobody expects of anybody."

Holt grew up in East Portland and attended school in the Parkrose School District. He was married in 2010, KATU News learned. His wife’s Facebook page was taken down shortly after Holt’s arrest.

“I feel for the girl and her family and everything,” Wilson said. “It’s a loss for everybody.”

Holt was transferred from Multnomah County to Clackamas County on Sunday. The case will be prosecuted in the county where the murder took place, police said.

On Monday, the Dutch Brothers coffee chain said they would donate half of their proceeds from sales in Gresham and Southeast Portland locations to the Heichel family so Whitney could be properly memorialized.

"Dutch Bros. of SE Portland is owned by Joe Brown, who says he knew the family and wants to try to help in any way he possibly can," a post from the company said. Whitney was an employee at rival Starbucks but her sister works at a Dutch Brothers location in Gresham.

Starbucks employees said they will donate their tips from the weekend to the Heichel family.

Another coffee vendor, Realtime Roasters in Gresham, where Whitney had applied to work, raised more than $500 for her family over the weekend.


Statement from Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in Gresham:

We were completely shocked to find out that Jonathan Holt, an irregular attendee of our meetings, was arrested and would be in any way tied to this case as a suspect. Jehovah’s Witness regard life as precious, a gift from God. We had no indications that would lead us, prior to this event that he would be capable of being involved in what is alleged to have happened. We have no knowledge of the events that led up to what took place with the disappearance of Whitney and know none of the details of what took place after her abduction. We will await the authorities’ investigation, and fully cooperate with them as they work through this numbing and disturbing case. Our local congregations especially feel the pain. So many families have been severely impacted by this senseless act of violence committed against our daughter, sister, and friend. Jonathans wife is too an innocent victim, and our love and support is as strong for her and her family. It will take a long time for her to heal. With God’s help, and assistance from our brothers and sisters, we will recover and use our experience to help others.