Did a party at a posh LA apartment complex lead to the death of Heidi Planck?
Heidi Planck is a loving and devoted mother. By all accounts, her 10 year old son was everything to her. So, it was alarming when Heidi failed to pick him up at school on October 20, 2021.
Both Jim Wayne, Heidi's ex-husband, and their son had tried to reach out to Heidi numerous times between Sunday, October 17th and Wednesday, October 20th. However, she did not return any of their text messages or phone calls. While unusual, Jim explains that he was more annoyed than worried. He knew though that Heidi would not miss picking up her son and so the pair waited patiently for her to arrive for afternoon pick-up and to provide an explanation why she had been out of touch. When she didn't show, they knew something was terribly wrong.
“She’s a devoted mother who would never, ever leave her son,” Jim said. “We have a 10-year-old boy at home that’s looking for his mom and we just need to find her.” (Jim Wayne, courtesy of NBC News)
What happened to Heidi?
The day Heidi disappeared
Sunday afternoon seemed to start out normal for Heidi. She attended her son's football game in Downey, which is located in Los Angeles County. Heidi left at halftime, but not before her ex-husband seemed to notice that something was "off."
“She was a little bit antsy, yes. I don’t know why,” Jim said. “All I know is that was the last time I saw her or talked to her.”
That evening around 6:30 pm, a surveillance video picks up Heidi walking her beloved dog, Seven, in downtown Los Angeles near the corner of Hope and Flower. Seven was found about 30 minutes later roaming inside of a nearby high-end apartment complex.
Over the course of the next couple of days, friends and family reach out to Heidi, but none of them received a response. It wasn't though until October 20th when she failed to pick up her son from school that they really started to sense that something was terribly wrong. Jim filed a missing persons report with the LAPD that day.
In an effort to find her, law enforcement attempts to access the GPS in her car and the location services for her Apple laptop, phone and watch. Curiously, they had all been disabled.
It wasn't until Jim tried to track Seven through his chip that they get their first lead. On the night of October 17th, a resident of Hope & Flower found Seven wandering around one of the upper level floors. They had alerted the chip company that Seven had been found.
From there, law enforcement were able to obtain footage from Hope & Flower that shows Heidi entering the building, but not leaving. They believe that Heidi attended a party there.
Where the investigation stands today.
Heidi's home was searched after the LAPD performed a wellness check at her home. They found it to be in pristine condition, though they did note that her phone and laptops were left behind.
Based on forensic evidence that they recovered at Hope & Flower, the LAPD launched a weeks long effort to search the Chiquita Canyon Landfill. The working theory is that something happened to Heidi at the party and she was placed in a trash chute that emptied into a dumpster. Their efforts did not yield any trace of Heidi.
There has also been some speculation that her disappearance was connected to her employer, Camden Capital Partners. Jason Sugarman, a managing partner, has been accused of defrauding a Native American tribe’s pension funds out of $43 million dollars. Sugarman has been charged with serious crimes by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Heidi is described as being 5’3” and weighing 120 lbs. She has blonde hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing jeans and a grey sweater, driving a 2017 Grey Range Rover with California license plate “U840X0.”
If you have any information about the disappearance of Heidi Planck should contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Missing Persons Unit, at (213) 996-1800 or 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).