Female hiker in AZ stabbed 15 times; suspect has long criminal past, saw probation officer AFTER murder

Another day, another deceased American dead at the hands of a criminal who should have been locked up behind bars, not running loose on the streets.

The victim this time is Lauren Heike, a 29-year-old white Phoenix hiker who was allegedly stabbed to death 15+ times by Zion William Teasley, a 22-year-old black man.

Around 10:50 am on the morning of April 29th, Phoenix police received a call about an injured person. Once the authorities arrived, they found an “adult female victim in a desert area outside of the nearby neighborhood,” the police said to local station KSAZ.

“According to a person living in the area, it was his wife who discovered Heike’s body while she was walking her dog. They were familiar with Heike because she hiked the trail often, and lived in an apartment complex nearby,” the station reported last month.

At the time, all the authorities had to go on was this blurry footage:

Fast-forward to this past Thursday, when Teasley was arrested after he “was linked to the crime through DNA on Heike’s shoe along with other forensic evidence including cell phone location data,” according to local station KTVK.

“After records turned up his name, detectives went to his former workplace, a sportswear store just a short distance from the trail. [E]x-coworkers there recognized him wearing clothes he was suspected of stealing from the store. They also said that was he fired for being aggressive toward female employees,” the station reported.

Based on all the evidence collected thus far, the authorities believe Teasley chased Heike down the trail. She eventually escaped but was so injured that she succumbed to her wounds and died near a barbed wire fence.

The motive for the killing remains unclear.

“I do believe at this time that the attack was random, however we have not concluded our investigation into that,” Phoenix Police Lt. James Hester said, according to KSAZ.

Teasley’s weird statements haven’t helped clarify anything.

“There’s no freaking way I’m in for a sex crime; I haven’t been with anyone for a long time,” he reportedly said during his arrest.

No signs of sexual assault were spotted on Heike.

But there’s more.

“During an interview with detectives, Teasley said that he recognized the area [where the murder happened] and frequented it, but refused to provide his routes, saying only that he never walked the same spots. He was shown the surveillance photo and at first, allegedly said, ‘that’s me,’ before stating he wasn’t quite sure,” according to KTVK.

“Investigators then showed him a picture of Heike, he said he recognized her and ‘wanted to look like her.’ Teasley also reportedly spoke up about growing up as a Christian and about how he struggled with his sexuality, saying in part that he feared his soul’s salvation due to his thoughts.”

It gets even stranger.

When detectives reportedly asked him if he’d planned to murder Heike, he said, “I am definitely not the person who plans to kill another person. If I was going to do something like that, it wouldn’t be premeditated.”

After allegedly killing Heike, Teasley went on to meet up with his probation officer a couple days after the murder. It turns out he has an extensive criminal history that includes robbery, kidnapping, and aggravated assaults with a deadly weapon.

“According to the documents, Teasley would often inform clerks that he was committing a robbery, jumping behind counters, and direct them to put hundreds of dollars on Google Play cards,” KSAZ notes.

“On one occasion, court documents state Teasley pointed a gun at a clerk. He was arrested shortly after, and eventually pled guilty. As a result of a plea deal, Teasley served time from July 2021 until November 2022.”

Following Teasley’s arrest Thursday, his bond was set at $1 million. However, because he was already on probation for something else, “he could remain behind bars,” according to KSAZ.

During his first court appearance Friday, he reportedly didn’t say a word. Prosecutors, however, had plenty to say.

“Prosecutors revealed that Teasley had signs of ‘premeditations’ in the alleged killing of Heike and signaled a potential flight risk as he reportedly had a plane ticket ready to fly to Detroit,” according to KTVK.


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Vivek Saxena


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