Whitney Heichel Missing: Police search park, mountain in Ore. barista's disappearance
(CBS/AP/KOIN) GRESHAM, Ore. - Investigators searched a park and mountain area on Wednesday looking for clues in the disappearance of 21-year-old Whitney Heichel, who was last seen two days ago leaving her apartment in the Portland suburb of Gresham.
Police say Heichel's husband, Clint, reported her missing Tuesday after she did not show up for work at her job at a nearby Starbucks.
At a Thursday morning press conference, Gresham Police Lt. Claudio Grandjean said investigators have recovered possible evidence from Larch Mountain and also from the heavily wooded Dodge Park, CBS affiliate KOIN reports.
According to KOIN, the Oregon woman's 1999 Ford Explorer was found after her disappearance in a Walmart parking lot in Wood Village with a broken front passenger-side window.
Investigators believe the car was seen at the park and at Larch Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge, about 25 miles from Gresham. KATU reports that on Wednesday, investigators found broken window glass in the park and examined tire tracks in the mud.
According to Gresham police, Heichel left her apartment at about 6:45 a.m. Tuesday, and headed to her job about five minutes from her home. Her husband reported her missing just before 10 a.m. Detectives later confirmed that her ATM card was used in a gas station at 9:14 a.m. At about 11:17 a.m., family and friends distributing flyers discovered her car in the parking lot.
"Please, as a mother, I'm asking, if you know anything, please, let the police know," Heichel's mother, Lorilei Ritmiller said at the Thursday conference. "Her heart is as big as the sun, please keep looking for her."
Heichel is 5-foot-2 and weighs about 120 pounds. Anyone who may have seen Heichel is asked to call the Gresham Police Tip Line at 503-618-2719.
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