Community reacts to Heidt murder arrest - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Community reacts to Heidt murder arrest

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By Michelle Paynter - bio | email

SPRINGFIELD, GA (WTOC) - It's a case that shocked the Effingham County community like no other. Crime scene tape surrounded Phillip and Linda Heidt's home on Springfield Egypt Road for days in August of 2008. 

No one could imagine why anyone would kill Phillip, a beloved and outgoing member of the community, and his son Carey, who was following in his father's footsteps.

Friday, authorities arrested Craig Heidt, Philip's son and Carey's older brother. Craig Heidt is being charged with their murders. See Suspect arrested, charged with Heidt murders.

Long-time friend Ruth Lee said this was such a tragedy for the family.

"Oh and it has multiplied now," she said. "The tragedy was the killings and shooting of the mother. But now with the son arrested, that's just more than doubles it. It's a terrible tragedy for the family."

Lee said while she was shocked investigators made an arrest Friday, she wasn't shocked that Craig Heidt was their suspect.

"The community as a whole has seen him as a possible person in this for various and sundry reasons, none of them enough to make an arrest though," Lee said.

Investigators said it has taken them all this time to build a case against Craig Heidt, one they say will hold up in court.

Lee said she often wondered if an arrest would ever be made. "Everybody wanted it solved the next day but if it took this long to do it and get it right, then that's what we wanted," she said. 

There's still a lot we don't know about Craig Heidt. Investigators won't say why they believe he murdered two members of his family. Friends said he attended their funerals, but where has he been for the past nine months? Questions the community may not get answers to until the case goes to trial.

Lee said at least some closure in this case is now in sight. "The community needs to be able to get beyond this, as well as the family and God bless the family," she said. "I don't know how they are going to handle it."

Two loved ones murdered and another behind bars.

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