“I’m going to miss her terribly. I just hope they can find whoever did this to her," her dad said.
An Arizona woman was killed during a solo hike on a north Phoenix trail on Friday, April 28. The body of Lauren Heike, 29, was discovered close to a neighborhood near Mayo Boulevard and Scottsdale Road on Saturday around 10:30 a.m. Authorities say she was "viciously" attacked from behind on the trail and "fatally injured." Police said, "Heike was found to have trauma to her body," according to 12 News. Her exact cause of death has not been disclosed so far.
Heike's friend River Hubbel said he and another friend spoke with Lauren that morning before she went on her hike. She started her day on a positive note, according to them. “She had specifically just said that she was so thankful to wake up another day,” Hubbel said.
Main takeaways from #LaurenHeike murder press conference:— Briana Whitney (@BrianaWhitney) May 3, 2023
-unknown person on surveillance vid running near scene is considered suspect
-Lauren was out on a typical walk on border of North Scottsdale/Phoenix near where she lived Friday morning
-police believe she was attacked on… pic.twitter.com/hp1QmZNfdW
Her family is also devastated by her shocking death. "She was beautiful inside and out," Lauren's mom, Lana Heike, said during a press conference alongside police on Wednesday. "She had such a kind heart. Everybody who met her loved her. She was super funny. She was just a sweet child – just everything to us."
Police are requesting the community to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings. "If a hike or walk is in your plans, do so with a partner," police said. "If you see something suspicious, call the police and be a good witness."
JUST IN: Phoenix police have taken a man into custody in connection to the death of 29-year-old Lauren Heike. https://t.co/sH9fSL2wtI— 12 News (@12News) May 5, 2023
Police have arrested a suspect in connection to her murder. A man in his 20s was taken into custody around 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and is being questioned by homicide detectives. “With this information, we hope that the community tonight can rest a little easier knowing that this person is off the streets,” police spokesperson Sergeant Melissa Soliz said during a brief Thursday night press conference according to the New York Post.
#Exclusive moment when Phoenix Police take in custody the suspect connected to the homicide of Lauren Heike. @TelemundoAZ will have more info and images at 10PM. @agarcilazonews will be at a press conference PD will be providing later tonight. pic.twitter.com/vI6eUMhyV8— Christian Villegas (@chrisvillegas29) May 5, 2023
According to CBS 5, sources told Arizona’s Family that the suspect is 23 years old and stabbed Heike multiple times. They added the man has been linked to the crime through DNA. Sgt. Melissa Soliz claimed that the man was the same person spotted in the surveillance video clip released by police this week. “Our detectives are going to ensure that every piece of evidence is looked at carefully, every angle, and give their full effort on this case,” she said.
The person @PhoenixPolice first called a person of interest in the Lauren Heike homicide has now been upped to a “suspect” as per this silent witness flyer I was handed at the press conference.— Sarah Robinson (@sarahrobinsontv) May 3, 2023
More details shortly. @azfamily @BrianaWhitney pic.twitter.com/3F5b0vsEwI
Heike's parents are hoping the true perpetrator of the crime will be sentenced and that justice will be served. “As hard as this is for us, we’re grateful because we had such a beautiful child. We will love her every minute that we are on this Earth,” said Mom Lana. "She was my little girl. I'm going to miss her terribly," her Dad, Jeff Heike, added. "I just hope they can find whoever did this to her."
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Lana Heike