Reports reveal that the man who is accused of killing the woman on the hiking trail in Arizona admitted to police his struggle with sexuality. He may have even used pronouns like “they/thems”, in a social networking account.
Lauren Heike, 29 years old, was hiking near the border between Scottsdale and Phoenix when a man violently attacked her from behind. Heike suffered at least 15 stab injuries and defensive wounds on her hands and arms, reports said. Heike was not sexually abused, but evidence suggests that she suffered injuries. She died later. The next day, her body was discovered.
Within a week of the stabbing, Zion William Teasley was arrested. Teasley is only 22 and has a criminal history. He received a 16-month prison sentence in 2020 for armed theft and disorderly conduct. Police said DNA evidence found on Heike’s shoes and cell phone data implicated Teasley.
When confronted with a video of a man fleeing from a hiking trail, Teasley replied “That’s me”. He changed his mind later and said that he wasn’t sure.
Teasley made remarks to the police that suggested that he is a disturbed person. When shown a picture of Heike, Teasley admitted that he “wanted to look like her.” Teasley admitted to struggling with his sexuality, despite being raised in Christian values. Teasley wondered if the police would be able to tell him how his sexuality affected his salvation.
According to reports, a scan of Teasley’s LinkedIn profile revealed that he does not identify as a male and believes in preferential pronouns. His name is listed with “they/them” pronouns. The background photo encourages visitors to his website to “amplify voices of black people.”
Teasley remains in Maricopa County Jail, charged with first-degree murder and probation violation. Due to the possibility of a probation violation, he cannot be released.
While the legal process continues to play out, Heike’s family is left to mourn and plead for justice. She was “beautiful inside and out,” said her mother, Lana Heike. “She had such a kind heart. Everybody who met her loved her.”
Jeff, Heike’s father, said: “She was my little girl.” “I’m really going to miss her. “