Authorities in Phoenix, Arizona have released information about the brutal murder of a 29-year-old lone hiker who was found dead last weekend on a local trail.
According to the Phoenix Police Department’s report, Zion William Teasley, 22, brutally attacked Lauren Heike on Saturday, April 29, causing 15 stab injuries and other injuries on her forearms and hands.
Prosecutors claim that DNA, cell phone, and video evidence linked Teasley to the crime.
The condition of the woman’s clothes led investigators to believe that the 29-year-old had been chased across a barbed-wire fence along the trail. Her belongings were scattered on the trail.
Around the time of the murder, security cameras in the vicinity recorded Heike and her suspect walking along the same route separately.
Teasley’s probable reason statement stated that “the suspect ran after Lauren, then ran away and returned to the area where Lauren’s corpse was found before climbing over the barbed-wire fence.”
The police say that the man had a pocketknife, with a blade of three inches. This is in line with the injuries found on Heike.
The cell phone data that recorded his location was said to match the evidence from surveillance videos.
Police do not yet have a motive for the murder that appears to be random.
At a press conference held on Friday, May 5, Lt. James Hester stated, “I believe that at this point, the attack was random. However, we haven’t concluded our investigation.”
A source confirmed to Fox News that Teasley is facing charges of first-degree murder. His criminal history dates back to the year 2020 and includes charges such as assault with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping robbery armed robbery burglary.
The judge set the bond for the suspect at $1 million. Teasley, who is currently on probation due to a previous conviction, could still be behind bars.
The 22-year-old had a ticket to Detroit, according to prosecutors. Investigators have not confirmed that he told them it was because of his aunt’s death.
Officials confirmed that he is the man seen on blurry surveillance video running away from the trail at the time Lauren Heike’s attack was taking place.
Phoenix Police Department reported that Heike was discovered dead at around 10:30 am on Saturday, April 29, along a popular trail in the community near her home.
At a press conference held on May 3, Lt. James Hester, Phoenix Homicide, told reporters that Heike had been found in an area that was difficult to see from the trail. Hester claimed that she was attacked behind, and died as a result of her injuries.
The body of Heike was identified by the police. Investigators said that she was declared dead on the spot and had “trauma” to her body.
Heike’s Family shared an emotional message following the arrest of Teasley by Phoenix Police on Thursday, 5th May.
Tana Heike posted a message on Facebook Friday morning saying, “We breathe a sigh this morning knowing that another family won’t have to walk in the same shoes as us because of this individual.” “Although it doesn’t bring back our Lowie and the journey ahead will be sad and daunting, we are eternally thankful for the love we have received since she went missing.”
Heike’s mother went on to state that her family is overwhelmed by the support and prayers they have received.