How old is Zion Teasley? Former Marine charged in fatal stabbing of Arizona hiker Lauren Heike

Zion Teasley and Lauren Heike (Image via Southern Man/Twitter)
Zion Teasley and Lauren Heike (Image via Southern Man/Twitter)

A 22-year-old recently released felon and former Marine, named Zion Teasley, was identified as the suspect arrested over the fatal stabbing of Lauren Heike. Zion was arrested on Thursday, May 4, 2023, for stabbing Heike, an Arizona hiker. Heike was viciously attacked by an unknown assailant on April 29, 2023, while hiking on the Reach 11 trail just north of Phoenix. Pheonix Police Department announced the arrest of an unnamed suspect on Thursday.

Officials investigating the case have been relatively tight-lipped on the details of the case. They have withheld a lot of information, including the manner of death. While the Phoenix Police Department had previously not disclosed the cause of death, they confirmed that Lauren Heike was attacked from behind and sustained trauma to her body.

However, on Friday, authorities revealed gruesome details on the death of Lauren Heike, who was reportedly chased and stabbed 15 times in the back and chest.

Zion Teasley a former Marine reportedly did not see any active duty in the army as he left the services three months after joining the recruit training in 2019.

As per Court records, Teasley was convicted of multiple offenses in 2020, including 13 felony charges, after robbing two convenience stores between May and July. The felonies also included five kidnapping charges. The suspect was sentenced to two years in prison and was released in November 2022. As per Fox 10, Teasley's mother works for the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department.

Zion Teasley charged with first-degree murder

Zion Teasley appeared in an Arizona court on Friday, May 5, 2023. He was charged with a single felony count of first-degree murder for the death of Lauren Heike. The hiker was reportedly found with multiple defensive wounds on her body while she tried to stave off the attack.

As per New York Post, during Zion Teasley’s arraignment hearing on Friday prosecutors revealed that there was substantial evidence connecting him to the victim's death. Listing the evidence, Prosecutors said that Teasley was identified as the man seen running from the scene of the crime by multiple people in the vicinity.

Shortly before the horrific murder of Lauren Heike, Teasley was fired from his job for stealing and being aggressive toward female employees.

The Maricopa County prosecutor Ryan Green told the court that several people acquainted with the suspect, including his colleagues reportedly gave statements. They reportedly said that a knife "would have been consistent with the murder weapon. Green added that the suspect was also linked by phone and DNA evidence to the murder.

The outlet reported that the suspect’s former employer identified him as the man seen on the surveillance video released by the investigators on Wednesday. The video was released to help identify the assailant, who was captured running from the crime scene.

Zion Teasley was arrested at his apartment

As per court records, Zion Teasley was arrested at his apartment on Thursday, where police reportedly found a one-way ticket to Detroit. As per Fox News, following his arrest, the police asked the suspect the reason behind his detainment.

Teasley said that there was no way that he was arrested for a s*x crime and that he hadn't "been with anyone for a long time." He added that he wasn't the kind of person who plans to kill another person. Teasley even went on to say that if he were to do "something like that," it wouldn't have been premeditated.

As per multiple reports, Teasley is being held on $1 million cash bail and potentially faces the death sentence if convicted.

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Edited by Madhur Dave