Police confirm they have missing woman's cell phone
GRESHAM, Ore. - Police have confirmed that a cell phone discovered by children playing in an apartment complex belongs to a 21-year-old woman who has been missing since Tuesday.
The apartment complex is about four miles from Whitney Heichel's home in Gresham, Ore.
According to police spokesman Lt. Claudio Grandjean, the phone is a smartphone and detectives will analyze location and other data stored in the phone. They will also try to get fingerprint or DNA evidence from the phone.
The phone was discovered by two girls in the blackberry bushes at the Troutdale Terrace Apartments. One of their families told KATU News the phone had a screensaver of Whitney on it as well as texts asking if she was OK.
Police said it could offer clues about what happened to Heichel, who left for work at a Starbucks outlet on Tuesday morning and hasn't been seen since.
Elizabeth Spencer said she saw Heichel struggling to park her SUV the night before she disappeared.
"She just said she hadn't been feeling good and was tired," Spencer said. "She actually had asked me, she goes, 'Can you come over here for a minute?' She asked if she had bumped the car in front of her. I said, 'No. You're about two inches away from it, actually. I was like, 'Do you want me to just re-park it for you?' She said, 'Yeah,' kind of embarrassed to ask."
But Spencer said nothing seemed unusual about Heichel or her SUV.
"I got in and put my purse in the passenger seat. So I looked over that way and then re-parked her car. I obviously had to look out the window to be able to get in the spot - no, nothing weird," she said.
Hours later Heichel disappeared, and that same SUV Spencer helped park was discovered at the Wood Village Walmart with the passenger window smashed.
Police did not reveal a lot of details during Thursday's two news conferences on Heichel's disappearance.
But investigators were back at Larch Mountain on Thursday. They also combed Dodge Park near Sandy on Wednesday.
During Thursday's news conferences, investigators declined to talk more about the condition of Heichel's SUV when it was found in the Walmart parking lot. But Heichel's husband, Clint, explained what he saw to Good Morning America.
"I noticed that the front passenger side window had been broken out," he said. "She had a little dangling bead thing from the rear view mirror that had been ripped off; the back seats were down, which was odd; there was a rubber mat and the carpet that was in the back and those were on top of the seats. So stuff had been moved."
He said he also noticed mud and grass on the tires.