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Oregon woman, 21, vanishes during five-minute commute to work

Gresham Police Department

Whitney Heichel, 21, was last seen by her husband at 6:45 a.m. Tuesday before leaving for her shift at Starbucks.

Police in Oregon are investigating the disappearance of a woman who went missing on her way to work Tuesday.

Whitney Heichel, 21, was last seen by her husband at 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday at her Gresham, Ore., apartment before leaving for her shift at Starbucks about five minutes away from her home, police said in a statement.

When Heichel didn’t show up for work, her husband, Clint Heichel, told police he received a call asking if she was sick. He called 911 to report her missing just before 10 a.m.


A team of 24 detectives were following leads and canvassing areas Wednesday where police believe Heichel may have been immediately prior to her disappearance.

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Several transactions were made on Heichel’s debit card the morning she went missing, including once at a gas station at 9:14 a.m. and again at ATM machines and other gas stations at 9:22 a.m. and 9:30 a.m, according to police.

Gresham Police Department

Police said Heichel's vehicle, a black 1999 Ford Explorer with tinted taillights and an Oregon license plate, were found in a Walmart parking lot in Wood Village, Ore., about three miles north of Gresham.

According to a missing person flyer, a gas station attendant at one of the stations said he remembered seeing her SUV and said Heichel was sitting in the passenger seat with a man driving. The man reportedly bought a small amount of gas.

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Heichel’s vehicle, a black 1999 Ford Explorer with tinted taillights and an Oregon license plate, was later found in a Wal-mart parking lot in Wood Village, Ore., about three miles north of Gresham, at 11:17 a.m. The vehicle had a shattered window and it appeared as if someone had rummaged around inside, police said.

Heichel is 5'2'' tall and weighs 120 pounds. Police say they are treating the incident as a suspicious missing persons case. 

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