Police Update: Body found near Mayer, but teacher killed in Williams

Deidre Gorospe briefs reporters outside the Williams Police Department as a group of volunteers begins search efforts for Cathryn Gorospe. Cathryn’s remains were located near Mayer on Oct. 13. (Loretta Yerian/WGCN, File)

Deidre Gorospe briefs reporters outside the Williams Police Department as a group of volunteers begins search efforts for Cathryn Gorospe. Cathryn’s remains were located near Mayer on Oct. 13. (Loretta Yerian/WGCN, File)

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Cathryn Gorospe

WILLIAMS — The Flagstaff Police Department has filed a charging request asking Coconino County Attorney’s office to file charges against Charlie Malzahn for the murder of Glendale kindergarten teacher Cathryn Gorospe, 44.

Sgt. Cory Runge, a spokesman for Flagstaff Police Department said the department is requesting charges through Coconino County because of evidence indicating Gorospe was murdered somewhere near Williams.

“While the details are being withheld to protect the integrity of the case, the police have some evidence indicating Cathryn was murdered in or near Williams,” Runge said.

Runge said the exact crime scene had not been located but detectives believe that Williams was the last place Gorospe was seen alive.

He also said evidence of vegetation in Gorospe’s car is only found in Williams and one other place in Arizona.

“We know she was killed in her car,” Runge said. “She then exited the car in the area of Williams and then she was put back in the car.”

Gorospe’s body was found Oct. 13 near Mayer, which lies within Yavapai County.

Gorospe had not been seen since Oct. 6, when she drove from Phoenix to Flagstaff to bail Malzahn out of Coconino County jail.

Her roommate reported her missing two days later.

Flagstaff police began an investigation and eventually found Malzahn with Gorospe’s vehicle and took him into custody in Phoenix.

Friends and family began a search began for Gorospe in Williams until Malzahn gave investigators details and directions to narrow the search. Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and Flagstaff Police Department coordinated their efforts and resources and found Gorospe’s body on private property near Nugget Mine Road in Mayer.

Malzahn has been the primary suspect in Gorospe’s death and is the last person known to have seen her since she bailed him out of Coconino County jail on Oct. 6 for car theft charges from an Aug. 20 incident in Williams.

Witnesses say they observed Malzahn driving Gorospe’s damaged and blood stained Toyota Rav4 on Oct. 9. He was arrested shortly after for evading law enforcement.

Malzahn is currently in custody in Phoenix for charges not related to Gorospe’s death.