A Pittsburg area police detective, who is also a member of the FBI task force, filed for a divorce from his wife after she allegedly took part in the Capitol riot on 6 January violence, reports say. Michael Heinl, a highly regarded detective with the Shaler Township Police Department, had filed for divorce from his wife Jennifer Marie Heinl a month later after warning his wife not to go to the rally that day.
Jennifer Heinl, 55, of Ross, was arrested and charged last week with crimes connected to the riot. Federal investigators allege that Jennifer was pictured in surveillance footage speaking to another man, Kenneth Grayson, inside the Capitol Rotunda during the chaos on January 6.
Relationship Gone Sour
The FBI executed a federal search warrant for Grayson's Facebook account, where they discovered messages with Jennifer Heinl between 12 November 2020 and 11 January 2021. Investigators say that in those messages they discussed travel to Washington DC, rental vehicles and hotels.
Michael Heinl who also heads the hostage negotiation unit for the SWAT team in North Hills, a suburb to the north of Pittsburgh, reportedly had warned his wife not to take part in the rally but she din't listen to him. Investigations later revealed that Jennifer didn't listen to her husband and stormed into the Capitol with other rioters. She was also photographed with Gryson inside the Capitol Rotunda during the chaos on January 6.
"His wife was a part of that situation," Chief Sean Frank said. "He didn't condone it. He didn't ask her to go there. He wasn't there. He was here working."
The chief said Detective Heinl informed him after the riot that his wife had been at the rally encouraged by then-President Donald Trump just before the insurrection at the Captiol, but he said it was likely that the husband did not know Jennifer Heinl went inside the building.
Jennifer Heinl told the FBI in late January that she fell out of touch with Grayson and that she did not stay at the same hotel during their time in the capital. However, her participation in the riots didn't please her husband who decided to file for a divorce.
In the photograph that the FBI is now using as evidence, Jennifer is seen wearing a camo-colored Trump hat while Grayson is seen wearing a QAnon sweater and an American flag-themed balaclava around his face. Investigators claim that they obtained the photo during a search of Grayson's iPad.
Grayson was also charged in January for knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building; disorderly conduct impeding government business; disruptive conduct in the Capitol building; parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol; and obstructing an official proceeding.
Jennifer works as a web and graphic designer for a distributor of nuts in Western Pennsylvania, according to her LinkedIn bio.
Michael is not a subject of the investigation, which was conducted by the FBI's Pittsburgh office. "She's an adult. And I don't think he had any part in her going there," Frank said.
Frank said he believed it was unfair that media reports about Jennifer's arrest created the impression in the minds of the public that Michael was supportive of her alleged crimes. "She's responsible for her actions. It's unfortunate he's becoming the focal point of this investigation," he added.