Barista Whitney Heichel Suspect Allegedly Confesses to Rape, Murder

PHOTO: Police announced in a news conference Oct. 19, 2012, that they had found the body of missing 21-year-old Whitney Heichel.
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The neighbor accused of killing Oregon barista Whitney Heichel told police he waited for her outside her apartment as she left for work and asked her for a ride, according to a police report. About five minutes into the ride, officials say, he pulled a gun on her.

Jonathan Holt, 24, who lived in the same apartment complex as Heichel and her husband, then "took [Heichel] by gun point in her vehicle" to an area near a lake and forced her to perform oral sex on him, according to the police report that said Holt "admitted" the events to a cop.

He then allegedly shot and killed her with a handgun before disposing of his cellphone in the lake. He took her body and concealed it on Larch Mountain in Multnomah County, Ore., where it was later found, according to the report.

Heichel, 21, vanished on her way to work as a Starbucks barista Oct. 16 and her body was found three days later.

Dr. Christopher Young of the Multnomah County Medical Examiner's office said Heichel died from four gunshot wounds. Holt's cellphone was located at the lake and he was arrested after a series of interviews reportedly didn't add up and officials found his fingerprints and DNA in her recovered car.

Holt made his first court appearance Monday evening, appearing via closed-circuit television in Clackamas County court wearing a suicide smock.

He reportedly cried throughout the arraignment, simply answering "yes," to the judge's questions.

Holt was charged with seven counts of kidnap, robbery, sodomy and murder. His case will soon be presented in a grand jury, and additional charges might be filed. If convicted of the most serious counts, he could face the death penalty.

He did not enter a plea at the hearing and will continue to be held at a county jail without bail. It is unclear whether he has a lawyer.

Heichel's husband said he had "bet on forever" with his wife of less than two years and has now been left wondering why anyone would hurt her.

"She's just very kind and loved everybody," Clint Heichel told ABC News in an exclusive interview Monday. "She didn't do anything to deserve this. It's just, why? That's the only question. Why?"

Heichel said the married suspect lived in his apartment complex, and they attended the same church. Heichel said he and his wife cared for the Holts' plants and cats when they were away. Heichel helped Holt jump-start his motorcycle two weeks ago, he said.

"It's very difficult, we only had a year and nine months together and when you get married you bet on forever," Heichel said. "She was just a beautiful little person, just full of love, and she was just a ray of light to everybody."

Police have not reported a motive for the killing.

Heichel was reported missing last Tuesday morning when she did not show up for work at Starbucks, which was a five-minute drive from her home. Shortly after, her Ford Explorer was found abandoned in a Walmart parking lot with its passenger-side window shattered.

Her husband reported her missing at 10 a.m., about 2 and a half hours after she was supposed to report for work.

Heichel's bank card had been used to get gas at two different gas stations within eight minutes, her husband said, and police had been studying a surveillance video from the first station.

A man told police he recognized Heichel in the passenger seat of her car at another station shortly before 9:30 a.m., but said a man was driving.

Children playing outside an apartment building found Heichel's phone in some bushes Thursday, and their parents knew it was Heichel's because the screensaver showed her picture. It also had text messages asking if she was OK.

Earlier in the week, a search team found tire tracks, broken glass and Heichel's license plate on Larch Mountain, where they would later find her body. Whitney Heichel's family said that in spite of their profound loss, the support they had received from their community has convinced them that there are "many good people."

"The loving concern from ones that didn't even know Whitney or her family has deeply touched our hearts," Heichel's family said in a statement. "The kind expressions, and support from perfect strangers has confirmed to us that there is much good in people. ... And though, while this event in our lives is tragic, we saw the positive effects it has had on this community."

To learn more about Whitney Heichel or to find out how to make a donation to her family, visit Findwhitneyheichel.com.

ABC News' Alyssa Newcomb and Sydney Lupkin contributed to this report.

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