Sign up for the free newsletter that 50,000+ Arizonans read to stay connected.

"*" indicates required fields

Sasha Krause was last seen on Jan. 18, 2020 picking up items from the Farmington Mennonite Church where she taught Sunday school.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — An Air Force airman was arrested Tuesday in the death of a Mennonite woman whose body was found off a forest road in northern Arizona two months ago, authorities said.

Mark Gooch, 21, was taken into custody at Luke Air Force Base, where he is stationed in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale. He was being booked into jail in Maricopa County and eventually will be transferred to Coconino County, authorities said.

Authorities released few details about the case, citing the ongoing investigation.

Sasha Krause, 27, was last seen Jan. 18 picking up items from the Farmington Mennonite Church in northwestern New Mexico where she taught Sunday school.

“Over the last few months, San Juan County has lived in fear, not knowing if we had a predator living inside of our community or somebody that was preying upon it,” San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari in New Mexico said in a video message online. “I can assure you, we have our man.”

Arrest made in Sasha Krause Homicide CaseFlagstaff, AZ – "On April 21, 2020 around 9:20 am, Detectives from Coconino County Sheriff’s Office accompanied by Detectives from San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, New Mexico served search warrants and arrested Mark Gooch at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, AZ for the homicide of Sasha Krause. Sasha Krause had been reported as a missing person from the Mennonite Community in Farmington, NM in January 2020. She was located deceased in Coconino County in February 2020. Detectives with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, through their investigation, learned that during the time Sasha Krause went missing, Gooch had traveled from Luke Air Force Base, where he lives, to Farmington, New Mexico. Further investigation placed Gooch near Sunset Crater in Coconino County where Krause’s body was located. Multiple state and federal agencies worked together on this investigation which led to the arrest of Gooch. Coconino County Sheriff Jim Driscoll would like to thank San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari and his staff for their ongoing coordinated efforts in the investigation, the Department of Public Safety Crime Lab, Glendale Police Department, Office of Special Investigation Detachment 421, U.S. Air Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The investigation is still on going, and no further information is available at this time." -Press release from Coconino County Sheriff's Office

Posted by San Juan County Sheriff's Office, NM on Tuesday, April 21, 2020

It was unclear if Gooch has a lawyer.

Authorities said he traveled from Luke Air Force Base to Farmington during the time Krause went missing. They were still looking into any possible connection between the two.

“We don’t know that he was going there necessarily to seek her out,” said Coconino County sheriff’s Lt. Brian Tozer. “We just know he was there in Farmington.”

Sean and Mercy Hoyt, who started an online support page for Krause and are friends of her family, said they are grateful for the efforts of law enforcement.

“Ultimately our prayer is for this young man to never harm anyone else but to also find forgiveness and salvation through our Lord Jesus,” said Mercy Hoyt.

Hoyt said Krause taught her own children to not be afraid of thunderstorms and how to milk a cow when Krause was a school teacher in Grandview, Texas. Krause also made time to help others, once interpreting an entire church service for a Spanish-speaking family so they would feel included, Hoyt said.

A Luke Air Force Base spokesman referred further questions about Gooch to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, which did not immediately return a phone message.

Krause’s car was parked outside the Farmington church when she went missing. Authorities have said she disappeared after eating dinner with her roommates and was without her wallet, money, driver’s license or car.

San Juan County sheriff’s spokeswoman Jayme Harcrow said Tuesday that Krause was taken from the compound.

Her body was discovered Feb. 21 near Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki national monuments outside Flagstaff, more than 270 miles (434 kilometers) from where she last was seen. She was wearing the same clothing she had on outside the Mennonite church in Farmington.

Krause had injuries to her head that authorities believe led to her death, but they haven’t disclosed how she was killed. The Coconino County medical examiner’s office said an autopsy report isn’t available yet.

Looking for the latest Arizona news in this time of crisis? Sign up for our daily newsletter and have it delivered straight to your inbox.

[ninja_forms id=2]