Phoenix Police have now arrested a suspect in his early 20s in connection with her death of an esthetician, 29, who was attacked on a desert hiking trail in Phoenix Arizona
Arrested Thursday, Zion William Teasley, 22, is being accused of first degree murder. His motive remains unknown
Lauren Heike, 29, was hiking on the popular Reach 11 trail near her apartment on April 28
Heike was stabbed ‘multiple times’ and police tracked down Teasley after finding his ‘DNA at the scene’.
Her body was discovered the next day, with police confirming she was ambushed from behind
Phoenix Police have now arrested a suspect in his early 20s in connection with her death
Arrest comes after a chilling clip showed a lone figure sprinting on the trail where Heike’s body was found
Priors for Teasley a 22-year-old ex-con include convictions for disorderly conduct conviction, he’s also been accused of robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murdering an esthetician who was ‘stabbed multiple times’ on a desert hiking trail in Arizona.
Zion William Teasley, 22, [photo left], was arrested Thursday for first degree murder. His DNA was found at the bloody crime scene
Lauren Heike, 29, was found dead on the Reach 11 trail on April 28, with police launching a week-long manhunt for her killer. On April 29, Phoenix police responded to a ‘desert area’ near 6500 East Libby Street to find Heike’s body. It’s believed she was killed one day prior, on Friday morning
A week after the murder, Phoenix Police announced a suspect was in custody
The male suspect in his early 20s, was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of murdering Heike, who had recently moved to the area from Washington.
The victim was stabbed ‘multiple times’ and police tracked down the suspect after finding his ‘DNA at the scene’. Footage captured by Telemundo Arizona showed officers cuffing the man as he was placed inside a police vehicle.
Lauren Heike, 29, was hiking Friday on the Reach 11 trail not far from her Phoenix home when she was attacked and killed. Her body was found the next day
Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murdering Lauren Heike while she was jogging on April 28, in Phoenix, Arizona. He was arrested at his home, less than a mile from the trail where Heike’s body was found
Teasley was arrested at his home, less than a mile from the trail where Heike’s body was found. Police confirmed that the man taken into custody was the same man running in the footage.
Images of his arrest show the suspect, looking relaxed, sitting on the sidewalk calmly talking to police.
Authorities have yet to name the man, but his arrest comes after a chilling clip showed a lone figure sprinting on the trail where her body was found. He is currently being interviewed by homicide detectives and police will release his name once he is booked into jail.
Footage captured by Telemundo Arizona with the suspect sitting on the sidewalk calmly talking to police before he was officers cuffed and put him inside a police vehicle
Lauren Heike, an esthetician who had recently moved to Arizona from Washington, was believed to be alone Friday morning on the Reach 11 trail not far from her home when she murdered by the unknown assailant between 10 and 11 a.m.
Her body was found the next day because police said she was in an area that isn’t necessarily visible from the trail. Police added that Heike had ‘trauma to her body’ from the attack. They have not yet shared how she was killed, but called the killer’s behavior ‘heinous.’
In the short clip police released on Tuesday, a figure is seen sprinting on the trail on Friday morning in the area where Heike’s body was found.
The suspect was described as ‘a thin man with a dark complexion, 5′8″ to 6′ tall,’ who was wearing a gray or lighter-colored shirt, dark pants, a dark backpack, and shoes, police said in an update on Wednesday.
Police have released chilling video footage of a shadowy figure sprinting through the woods, as the search continues for the suspect who killed a Lauren Heike on a popular hiking trail in Phoenix
The 22-year-old suspect served time in prison from July 2021 to November 2022 for a disorderly conduct conviction, and was accused of robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon back in 2020, court records show.
Investigators said Teasley was arrested at the apartment complex where he lived, and a search warrant was served on his apartment.
Following Thursday’s arrest, Sergeant Melissa Soliz said: ‘Detectives are serving a search warrant at the man’s apartment and he was taken into custody this evening at around 6.30pm.
‘Right now, he is the person that we believe to be responsible or in connection to the murder of Lauren Heike.
‘This is going to take a while for our detectives to sift through all this evidence, process it, collect it and hope to have some more answers later.
‘With this man taken into custody, I can tell you that he is the same person that was shown on the video clip that we shared with you all a few days ago.
‘With this information we hope that the community tonight can rest a little easier knowing that this person is off the streets.’
At the press conference on Wednesday, Lauren’s heartbroken parents, Laura and Jeff Heike, [photo], and friends gathered to plead with the public for any information
She didn’t confirm whether the suspect knew Heike but said more details are expected to be released on Friday.
‘Phoenix police have taken a man into custody in connection with the murder of 29-year-old Lauren Heike,’ it said in a statement.
He was linked to the murder through DNA evidence, according to CBS 5.
Amber Winter witnessed the arrest as she was walking past with her pet and recorded the moment.
‘It was around 6:00 p.m, I was walking my dog, saw about three SWAT trucks come in, 15 undercover vehicles pull up to a building,’ she told Fox10 Phoenix.
‘They literally blew the door down, went in, screaming ‘get on the ground! Get on the ground!’
Lauren Heike moved to Arizona from Washington, was well-liked and left a lasting impression, according to those who knew her
‘They detained the supposed suspect, and brought him out. He sat there for a while, while they went inside and were searching and were interviewing people.’
The arrest comes a day after Heike’s parents made a tearful public appeal: ‘Somebody knows this person.’
‘Somebody wearing a backpack or a hoodie or whatever the video, it’s hard to tell, in a sunny hot day that person will stand out.
‘I know someone knows something and they can help us.’
Lauren’s parents Laura and Jeff Heike [photo], tearfully said they just want justice for their daughter
Laura Heike gave some insight into what her daughter’s last day was like: ‘She got up, talked to her friends. It was her day off, she got her coffee, and she went walking and she was happy, happy… that helps us a lot,’ Lana said.
‘We need people’s help to tell us what happened after that.’
While Phoenix police urged the community to come together to help find the suspect, the family said they just want justice for Heike, who they described as a ‘beautiful’ person inside and out who loved exercising and being outdoors.
Family and friends said they just want justice for Lauren Heike, who they described as a ‘beautiful’ person inside and out who loved exercising and being outdoors
Her mother described her daughter as a beautiful, kindhearted woman who was sweet to everyone she met.
‘As hard as this is for us, we’re grateful because we had such a beautiful child,’ she said. ‘We will love her every minute that we are on this Earth.’
Heike’s boss, Brian Thorne of Troon North Golf Club, where she worked as a server, told local news outlets that their staff is shocked and saddened by her death. He described Heike as a lovely person and said this tragedy has been tough on everyone.
Heike’s mother tearfully said: ‘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’
Heike had previously worked as an esthetician for Admire Medical Aesthetics in Washington. The company posted a heartfelt tribute on its Facebook page.
‘It is with a heavy heart that we learned of the passing of Lauren Heike, a former esthetician for Admire Medical Aesthetics. Lauren touched the hearts of many with her kind and sweet nature, and her beloved clients always looked forward to seeing her.
‘We will always remember the laughter and smiles that Lauren brought to each of us. Her warmth and compassion made her not just a great esthetician, but a wonderful human being. It is a true loss to everyone that she has touched.’
Lauren’s friend Rivers Hubbell [third front row], joined Heike’s family and friends to plead with the public to help find her killer
Neighbors in the area, and hikers who frequent the trail, said they’re now looking over their shoulders.
‘I just woke up to all the police coming in, and they could actually see all the vehicles in the back, driving around, all the police. I would say the neighborhood is just a little bit somber right now. They’re probably a little sketched out, looking over their shoulder. Definitely not something that they saw coming,’ one neighbor said.
A reward of up to $2,000 was offered for any information related to the case
Police have offered advice for hikers and said the safety of the community is their top priority.
‘The safety of our community is our top priority. We would like to remind everyone to be aware of your surroundings. If a hike or walk is in your plans, do so with a partner. If you see something suspicious call police and be a good witness,’ police cautioned.