Woman found dead in desert area of Phoenix near Mayo Clinic; person of interest sought

A woman was found dead in a "desert area" of Phoenix Saturday morning, the police department said, and the suspect hasn't been found.

At around 10:50 a.m. on April 29, Phoenix Police officers got a call about an injured person near Mayo Boulevard and Scottsdale Road, just minutes away from the Mayo Clinic hospital.

Once they got there, officers and firefighters found an "adult female victim in a desert area outside of the nearby neighborhood."

The victim is identified as Lauren Heike, 29.

"Heike was found to have trauma to her body," police said.

According to a person living in the area, it was his wife who discovered Heike's body while she was walking her dog. They were familiar with Heike because she hiked the trail often, and lived in an apartment complex nearby.

Brian Thorne, General Manager of Troon North Golf Club, released a statement as Heike was an employee there.

"Lauren was a wonderful person and a valued associate. We are shocked and saddened to hear of her passing. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends."

According to public records, Heike moved to Arizona from Washington State.

Family visits Phoenix, sending a plea for help

On May 3, the Heike family held a press conference with the Phoenix Police Department in an effort to get more eyes on the young woman's case.

"It's horrific. As hard as this is for us, we’re grateful we had such a beautiful child," Lana Heike said, Lauren's mother.

"She was my little girl, and I'm going to miss her terribly. I just hope they can find who ever did this to her," Lauren's father, Jeff Heike said.

Watch the full news conference here:

Person of interest sought

Homicide detectives are investigating this case, and on the night of May 2, officials released a blurry video that shows a person of interest in the case.

Officials say the person of interest was near the scene of the crime. Anyone with information can contact the Phoenix Police Department, or Silent Witness (480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish).

"The safety of our community is our top priority. We would like to remind everyone to be aware of your surroundings. If a hike or walk is in your plans, do so with a partner. If you see something suspicious call police and be a good witness," police cautioned.

Neighborhood rocked by Heike's death

As the investigation into Heike's death continues, people in the area are on edge.

"It's heartbreaking," said hiker Tom Chamberlain.

In the aftermath of Heike's death, residents and hikers that frequent a trail in the area are looking over their shoulders.

Some even say warning signs should be posted around the community.

"It would be nice. I'm lucky we do this together. If I were to come out here in the morning for a run, it would change my opinion completely about doing this," said Naomi Kight.

"I would not be comfortable if she were hiking alone on this trail now," said Chamberlain. "Before, I thought it was North Scottsdale. It's totally fine."

A sign was eventually put up by residents near the trial, reading, "Warning. Do not walk alone. Report suspicious activity." Attached to the sign is a printed out news release from the Phoenix Police Department regarding Lauren's body being found.

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Lauren Heike (Phoenix PD)

Area where the body was found: