A convicted felon who stabbed a jogger 15 times says he targeted her because he wanted to look like her.
Phoenix police say Lauren Heike was ambushed then stabbed 15 times in the chest and back while jogging on a popular trail on April 28.
Zion Teasley, 22, was arrested on May 4 at his mother’s Scottsdale, AZ apartment and charged with first-degree murder. The apartment was not far from the trail where Heike’s remains were found on April 29.
Teasley reportedly told police he killed Heike because he struggled with his sexuality and he wanted to look like her.
Surveillance footage showed a man running near 6500 E. Libby Street around the time of the murder. The footage was released to the public and generated tips that led police to an upscale apartment complex on Scottsdale Road.
Police used a flash bang device to force Teasley out of the apartment.
“That’s me,” Teasley later told detectives when shown the CCTV footage of the man running.
When shown a picture of Heike, the former U.S. Marine told detectives he recognized her because he “wanted to look like her.”
He said he struggled with his sexuality growing up in a Christian home and that he hadn’t had sex in a long time.
According to police, Teasley was linked to Heike’s murder through DNA, forensic evidence, and cellphone location data.
“He followed Lauren onto a trail and, after a short time, attacked her,” Phoenix homicide Lt. James Hester said.
Teasley is currently in jail on $1 million bail. He was released from prison in November 2022 after serving time for armed robbery, robbery and disorderly conduct.
Teasley had recently been terminated from his job for “being aggressive toward female employees,” according to court documents.