VIDEO: Person of interest wanted after woman found dead on popular Phoenix trail

Lauren Heike was found dead on just off of a hiking trail in north Phoenix.
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 7:31 PM MST|Updated: May. 2, 2023 at 7:41 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Phoenix police have released surveillance video of a person of interest after a young woman was found dead on a popular hiking trail over the weekend. A short clip shows a person running on the Reach 11 trail near Scottsdale Road and Mayo Boulevard, where 29-year-old Lauren Heike’s body was found on Saturday morning. The person has dark complexion and may have information related to the case, police say.

Heike had injuries and “obvious signs of trauma,” but investigators didn’t clarify if a weapon was used. It originated as a 911 call for an injured person, but as soon as police arrived, they declared a homicide investigation.

She worked as a beverage cart server at Troon North Golf Club. Her boss, Brian Thorne, said their staff is shocked and saddened. Thorne described Heike as a lovely person and said the news has been tough on all the staff.

Neighbors who live along the trail say they are on edge. “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,” said one neighbor.

Phoenix police say it’s too early in the investigation to speculate on a suspect or a motive. But, out of caution, they’re asking people not to hike alone and be on the lookout for anything suspicious. If you have any information about Heike’s case, call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish speakers.