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Arrest made in killing of woman found dead along a hiking trail in Phoenix

<i>KNXV</i><br/>A suspect was arrested on May 4 in the death of a woman found dead along a hiking trail in Phoenix.
A suspect was arrested on May 4 in the death of a woman found dead along a hiking trail in Phoenix.

By Paradise Afshar, CNN

A man has been arrested in the killing of a woman found dead after an attack along a Phoenix hiking trail last week, according to local police.

Phoenix police arrested Zion Teasley, 22, in connection with the death of Lauren Heike, according to a tweet from the department.

Teasley was arrested on Thursday and the Phoenix Police Department is set to give more details surrounding his arrest during a Friday afternoon media conference.

CNN has reached out to Teasley’s attorney for comment.

“Without provocation or pre-incident contact Lauren was brutally attacked with a bladed object and died due to her injuries,” Phoenix Police Lt. James Hester told a news conference on Friday. “I believe Lauren fought off her attacker and was able to flee, but her injuries were just too severe.”

Hester said Teasley followed Heike on the trail before attacking her.

The arrest came less than a week after Lauren Heike, 29, was found dead along a desert-area hiking trail in northeast Phoenix on April 28.

Her body was found Saturday morning near the 6500 block of East Libby Street, police said.

Heike’s mother described her daughter as “beautiful inside and out” at a news conference on Wednesday.

“She had such a kind heart, everybody who met her loved her,” Lana Heike said.

Authorities said they collected several items of evidence and hours of video as part of their investigation.

“As a result, we were able to develop a forensic profile on our suspect, additional images identifying our suspect, cell tower evidence placing him in the immediate area, and other factors,” Hester said Friday.

According to Hester, Teasley was found in an apartment near the scene and was taken into custody.

The case remains under investigation, Hester said.

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CNN’s Zoe Sottile contributed to this report.

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