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Whitney Heichel Murder: Suspect Jonathan Holt scheduled to be arraigned today in connection with Oregon barista's death

Jonathan Holt Clackamas County Jail via KOIN

(CBS/AP) GRESHAM, Ore. - A Gresham man is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in connection to the death of 21-year-old Whitney Heichel, whose body was discovered on a remote, forested mountain over the weekend.

PICTURES: Body of missing Oregon barista found

Jonathan Holt, 24, was a resident of the apartment complex where Heichel lived with her husband. He was arrested for investigation of aggravated murder Friday night, about the same time her body was found on Larch Mountain, east of Gresham.

Holt is scheduled to be arraigned in Clackamas County. He currently remains remained held without bail at the Multnomah County Detention Center.

Heichel reportedly left her apartment Tuesday morning for her job as a Starbucks barista. Her husband, Clint, called police three hours later and told investigators he tried to reach Whitney multiple times after her boss alerted him that she never arrived for her 7 a.m. shift.

Gresham police said Heichel's ATM card was used at a nearby Troutdale gas station at 9:14 a.m. Tuesday. Two hours later, family and friends discovered her sport utility vehicle in a Walmart parking lot with the passenger side window smashed.

Some of her items were found in a trash bin nearby, and a child later found her cellphone in a field that lies between the gas station and the Walmart.

Police began searching Larch Mountain on Wednesday, believing that Heichel's SUV was driven there. They discovered her body Friday night. The family's search team discovered a license plate and other "items of interest" on Larch Mountain, police Chief Craig Junginger said.

Holt first came to their attention Wednesday, when he volunteered to be interviewed, Junginger said, and two interviews revealed inconsistencies in his statements. He submitted to fingerprint and DNA analysis, and that helped tie him to the SUV, the chief said.

Jim Vaughn, a family spokesman, thanked police for their commitment in the case.

"Whitney was a very loving person," he said Friday. "She was warm, she was kind, she was everything you would want in a friend, relative, spiritual fellow worshipper."

He asked for privacy for the family, saying: "Our loss and heartache is too much to bear right now."

Vaughn released a statement Monday saying Holt was a member of the same Jehovah's Witnesses congregation as Heichel. Vaughn called him an irregular attendee.

"To say that this case brought fear and anxiety to the community is a vast understatement," Mayor Shane Bemis said. "As we watched these events unfold, Whitney in many ways represented all of our wives, daughters, sisters, friends and loved ones."

Complete coverage of Whitney Heichel on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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