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Malzahn to face murder charges in Coconino County for Gorospe homicide

Coconino County Sheriff's Office announced it is charging Charlie Malzahn with the murder of Cathryn Gorospe. (Flagstaff Police Department/photos)

Coconino County Sheriff's Office announced it is charging Charlie Malzahn with the murder of Cathryn Gorospe. (Flagstaff Police Department/photos)

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — The Coconino County Attorney’s Office has announced it is charging Charlie Malzahn with the 2017 murder of Cathryn Gorospe.

“Charles Malzahn has been indicted by the Coconino County Grand Jury on several counts, including first degree murder in the death of Cathryn Gorospe,” said Bill Ring, Coconino County District Attorney. “Mr. Malzahn is also facing charges in Maricopa County, which the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is currently actively addressing.”

According to Amanda Steele, Communications and Public Information Director for Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Malzahn is facing additional charges that include kidnapping, armed robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, unlawful flight from law enforcement and theft of a vehicle, among others for incidents not related to Gorospe’s murder.

It has been nearly one and a half years since Gorospe, 44, a Glendale kindergarten teacher who worked seasonally in Williams, was murdered.

Gorospe went missing Oct. 6, 2017 after posting bond for Malzahn at Coconino County jail.

On Oct. 12, family and friends used the Williams Police Department building as headquarters to coordinate a volunteer search party in areas around Williams.

Volunteers began their search in Williams because investigators believed Malzahn and Gorospe left Flagstaff traveling west on I-40 toward Williams.

Malzahn was spotted driving Gorospe’s vehicle in Phoenix Oct. 9 and was subsequently arrested. Gorospe was not in the vehicle. The vehicle had sustained significant damage and the interior was covered in blood.

After Gorospe’s disappearance, law enforcement agencies across multiple jurisdictions began investigating the disappearance.

According to Flagstaff Police Department, Malzahn gave investigators some details and directions, which led law enforcement to narrow the scope of the search. Investigators from Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and the FPD coordinated efforts and resources and Gorospe’s body was found Oct. 13 near Mayer, in Yavapai County.

Although he couldn’t release details without hindering the integrity of the case, Sgt. Cory Runge, a spokesman for Flagstaff Police Department, said law enforcement had evidence indicating Gorospe was murdered in or near Williams.

In November 2017, the Flagstaff Police Department filed a charging request asking Coconino County Attorney’s Office to file charges against Malzahn for the murder of Gorospe.

At that time, Runge said the department requested charges through Coconino County because of evidence indicating Gorospe was murdered somewhere near Williams.

Runge said the exact crime scene had not been located, but detectives believed that Williams was the last place Gorospe was seen alive. He also said evidence of vegetation in Gorospe’s car was only found in Williams and one other place in Arizona.

Runge said law enforcement believes Gorospe was injured in her car, possibly exited the car in Williams and then returned to the car.

Malzahn has been the primary suspect in Gorospe’s death and is the last person known to have seen her since she posted bail for him at the Coconino County jail for car theft charges he incurred from an Aug. 20 incident in Williams.

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