Clint Heichel: 'She didn't deserve it. She didn't do anything wrong'

Clint Heichel: 'She didn't deserve it. She didn't do anything wrong' »Play Video
Clint Heichel crouches near an impromptu memorial that appeared outside his Gresham apartment door after his wife was found dead. (ABC News video still)

GRESHAM, Ore. - A weary Clint Heichel carefully moves the candles burning outside his apartment door in Gresham, arranging them and gently folding in the wax ears.

"I've tried to keep them lit. It was so nice that they set this up in the apartment complex," he said, adding that the wind sometimes blows out the candles. "I came home to it and it was there. I really appreciate that and I think she'd like that too."

Police announced Friday night that they had found the body of his wife, 21-year-old Whitney Heichel, on Larch Mountain and had made an arrest in the case.

Read more: Court docs: Whitney Heichel was sexually assaulted before being killed

Jonathan Daniel Holt, 24, of Gresham, is charged with aggravated murder and sexual assault. He is due in court Monday afternoon.

Over the weekend, ABC News spent time with Clint as he returned to his apartment and talked to a reporter by the impromptu memorial, which included candles, flowers, and a placard signed by neighbors and friends that had been tacked up next to his door.

Clearly exhausted, Heichel said he sometimes struggles to maintain composure.

"Just trying to maintain without having a mental breakdown. Everybody's been very nice. A lot of appreciation for that," he said while crouched close to the candles and flowers. "It's very difficult to... hold up."

"I got a year and nine months with my wife. I try to keep myself distracted but ... it's very hard ... and sometimes it gets really bad because she was just a beautiful little person and just full of love and she was a ray of light to everybody."

Heichel said he was not able to go to a memorial event for Whitney at a Starbucks but appreciated it. Whitney worked at a local Starbucks location.

Heichel had nothing but praise and appreciation for those who helped look for his wife and quickly made an arrest in the case. "The exposure was awesome and they worked with me to do the best they could to get that out," he said.

He thanked search and rescue workers, detectives, Gresham Police, family and friends.

"There's so many people who won't get a personal thanks from me and I wish I could give them a personal thanks. It's very difficult," he said. "Waking up is hard. This morning I lost it. Last night, I lost it"

"It's completely unfair to me. It's even more unfair to her," he said  "She didn't deserve it. She didn't do anything wrong."

He said photos of Whitney always showed her smiling and happy. "Just a beautiful little person, and that's exactly why I married her, because she was just a ray of sunshine to everybody."

"She was also so nice. She just loved people. That's why it's so hard, because she didn't do anything to deserve this. It's just "why?" he added. "That's the only question: why?"