BREAKING: Suspect in stabbing of Phoenix jogger told police he 'wanted to look like her,' uses 'they/them' pronouns on LinkedIn

Upon seeing a picture of the now-deceased woman, Teasley reportedly said he “wanted to look like her.”

A 22-year-old suspect named Zion William Teasley has been arrested for allegedly murdering Lauren Heike, a young woman who was living in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

The suspected killer was taken into custody at 6:30 pm on Thursday less than a mile from the location of the murder. His residence was reportedly not far from the trail where Heike's corpse was discovered. 

Now, new details stemming from a police investigation have revealed that upon seeing a picture of the now-deceased woman, Teasley indicated that he “wanted to look like her," according to AZ Family. He also spoke about being raised as a Christian and struggling with his sexuality, and how it led to personal problems as he fears what may happen to his soul. 

Upon being asked by detectives if a plot had been hatched to end Heike's life, he reportedly answered, “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.”

Prosecutors on the case argue that Teasley had numerous signs of “premeditations” for the killing, claiming he had booked a flight to Detroit in a potential plan to escape Arizona. They also touched on a prior arrest in 2020, where Teasley took a plea deal that got rid of 10 out of 13 felony charges. 

After accepting the plea deal, which included admissions of guilt for robbery, disorderly conduct and armed robbery, Teasley spent 16 months in an Arizona prison before being let out in November 2022. 

Court records revealed that prosecutors at the time had considered Teasley to be a “medium-low” risk in regards to chances of re-offending. 

Teasley was tracked down via the use of surveillance footage and other factors, which Phoenix homicide Lt. James Hester said included crime scene DNA,  forensic evidence, and cellphone location data, according to Evie Magazine. Hester noted that Heike's body showed 15 stab wounds, suggesting a heinous attack. 

Sgt. Melissa Soliz promised that “detectives are going to ensure that every piece of evidence is looked at carefully, every angle, and give their full effort on this case,” adding that she and other responders are “hoping that the community can rest a little easier knowing this person is off the streets.”

Reacting to the tragic news, Heike's father, Jeff, said "She was my little girl, I miss her terribly.”

Teasley’s LinkedIn account states that he was in the United States Marine Corps from March of 2019 to June of 2020, and was "medically discharged."


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