PORTLAND – The man accused of kidnapping, sexually abusing and killing his Gresham neighbor also mysteriously vanished for a time in 2011, prompting his friend to call 9-1-1, KGW has learned.
Jonathan Holt, 24, is accused of shooting Whitney Heichel to death and then hiding her body on Larch Mountain last week, according to the probable cause document, which said he confessed to investigators.
In this latest twist, a police report just obtained by KGW shows that back on August 18, 2011, Holt’s friend, Nathan Bargas reported him missing to police after he vanished, along with Bargas' rental car.
Bargas told the investigating officer at the time that the two had gone shopping together. He said Holt decided to stay in the car while Bargas went inside the Best Buy on NW Norman Avenue in Gresham. But when Bargas came out of the store, both Holt and the car were gone.
The police report said the officer asked Bargas if he thought John had stolen his car and Nathan said "this was very out of character for John, as he had just completed his EMT training and was a well-known and trusted friend."
The officer then called Holt's wife. She said she had no idea where John was and began the process of filing a missing person report.
Just before 1 a.m. the next day and nearly 12 hours after he vanished, Holt resurfaced, according to the police report, and knocked on Bargas' back door.
Bargas said that Holt apologized for taking his car and told him he had a “mental breakdown” and "needed time to rethink his life and straighten his priorities."
The police report said that Holt later told the officer he had gone to a park in Washington, near where he grew up, and spent several hours there.
(KGW reporter Kyle Iboshi contributed to this report.)