Arizona Hiker Found Murdered – Person of Interest Seen Running – Parents Plead for Help

The parents of 29-year-old Lauren Heike, who was killed while hiking a trail in Phoenix, Arizona last week, are pleading with the public for information in the case as the manhunt for the suspect in the “vicious attack” continues.

Lauren Heike, 29, was found on Saturday at around 10:30 a.m. along the trail on 6500 East Libby Street near her home, nearly 24 hours after she went out, police said.

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Update: A suspect has been arrested for the murder of Lauren Heike

Phoenix officers originally received a call about an injured person spotted on the trail, but it was confirmed to be Heike’s body, which appeared to have suffered “trauma.”

She was on a popular trail that she routinely hiked, police and her family said.

Police describe the suspect as upward of 6 feet tall and having a thin build with a dark complexion. The individual was wearing a dark backpack, gray or lighter-colored shirt, dark pants, and shoes and was seen running near the crime area, police said.

“She loved to exercise. She was walking and we know she was happy. She went out that morning on a beautiful day, she did what she does every day,” her mother, Lana Heike, told reporters during a press briefing Wednesday while surrounded by her daughter’s friends and family.

Phoenix police Lt. James Hester said Lauren Heike was attacked from behind and died due to her injuries.

“The vicious attack on Ms. Lauren Heike is unconscionable,” he said during the briefing.

Hester declined to share many details in the case not to compromise the investigation. But he said police have surveillance footage from Friday of a person believed to be a suspect in the homicide.

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Hester asked people who noticed anything “that didn’t look right” on the trail the day of the incident and the days leading up to and after it to come forward.

“The behavior, in my opinion, was so heinous that I would imagine that the subject would be displaying behavior symptoms that just would look out of place,” he said.

In a sign posted on the trail, police warn people not to walk alone and report suspicious activity.

The Phoenix Police Department released a video of a suspect sought in connection with Lauren Heike’s death.

Police and Heike’s family are calling for anyone with any information on the death or the person of interest to contact law enforcement.


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