Prosecutors to Seek Death Penalty for Murder of Skin Care Technician on Phoenix Hiking Trail

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Prosecutors in Arizona say they will seek the death penalty for a 22-year-old man accused of stabbing a 29-year-old skin care technician to death on a hiking trail last spring.

Lauren Heike’s parents released a statement saying they’d learned from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office that they had filed the notice of intent to seek the death penalty, and the office later confirmed that information to KNXV.

“Our family supports MCAO’s decision and we are grateful for the work of both MCAO and Phoenix PD,” Jeff and Lana Heike said in a statement released to the station. “We know that our journey through the criminal justice system is just beginning, but we will be there every step of the way to ensure that Lauren receives justice.

Zion Teasley/Police Handout

“As we make our way through our first Christmas season without Lauren, our hearts continue to break over her life being cut short by the violent actions of another. However, we want Lauren to be remembered for the beautiful and kind person that she was.”

A Maricopa County grand jury indicted Zion Teasley, 22, on a first degree murder charge for the death of Lauren Heike, 29. Her body was found on April 29 on a Phoenix hiking trail, as CrimeOnline reported. She had been stabbed 15 times in her chest and back in what police said was a premeditated attack.

Teasley was arrested a week later after police released security footage showing a man running in the area. Teasley’s probation officer and a former employer identified him, and he reportedly admitted to police it was him.

Phone data and DNA on Heike’s shoes reportedly linked Teasley to the crime.

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[Featured image: Lauren Heike/handout]


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