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Friends React to Murder Arrest

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SWEET HOME, Ore. — A man has been charged with the murder of a Sweet Home woman, more than two weeks after she was found dead in the Umpqua National Forest. Friends of the victim, 36-year-old Heaven Angel King, are still trying to digest and understand the accusations.

Austin Louis Rolfe, 33, was arraigned in the Lane County Jail on Friday on charges of murder and abuse of a corpse. He pleaded not guilty.

Veronica and Carla Schmidt lived next door to King for years.

“She was my best friend,” Veronica Schmidt said.

Schmidt says she barely knew Rolfe. She remembers seeing King the morning of her death, when she told Veronica she was going to drive Rolfe back home to Springfield.

“Why did he do this to her? It’s not right,” she said between tears.

Despite a slight comfort knowing someone has been arrested in the case – friends and neighbors say they are still angry.

“I hope the justice system works and does what it needs to do because he needs to be behind bars,” Carla Schmidt said. “To me that’s not enough. It’s not enough because she didn’t deserve to die.”

Veronica agrees with her mother, argueing that a conviction will never bring King back.

“Honestly I don’t think there is going to be anything putting me at ease except for her,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Schmidts say they still are not able to let go of the woman they say was more like a family member than a friend.

“My toenails are still painted the colors that she painted them,” Veronica said. “Yellow and pink. I don’t want to let it fade off. It’s not right. I miss you Angel.”

Hikers found King about 38 miles east of I-5 out of Cottage Grove in the Umpqua National Forest on July 9. Lane County investigators say her body was not concealed.

According to Rolfe’s Facebook page, he’s also from Sweet Home. He’s listed as a former student at Lane Community College and a current caretaker. His last Facebook post was on July 2 where he wrote “I love you Hun. Mrs. Heaven.King.Rolfe.”

Rolfe has a criminal history. According to the jail website, he has been arrested in the past for burglary, theft and assault among other charges.

As for this current case, Rolfe will be assigned to a judge and then his next court date will be set.

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  1. Mindy Irene says:

    I’m blown away, just completely and absolutely mind blown…. After meeting Austin on bus 91 which is the McKenzie River route and is a fairly long bus ride. My time was about 40 minutes each way. One day I said out loud “I wish I had a Pepsi”, that is when Austin turned around, smiled in a nice but not creepy way and pulled a Pepsi out of his backpack. Handing it to me, he was polite, but did not hit on me or make me feel uncomfortable at all. It turns out he lived 6 miles up the road from me. Austin was my neighbor. His sister was so sweet and his family support system seemed strong. I cannot imagine the horror of what both families must be going thru and that includes friends. My heart goes out to anyone and every one affected by this horrific event.

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