Airman Arrested in Alleged Murder of Sunday School Teacher

Mark Gooch. Gooch, an Air Force airman, was arrested Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in the death of a Mennonite woman whose body was found off a forest road in northern Arizona two months ago. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office via 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."

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 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.

The Associated Press

To contact us or to submit an article, click here.

Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective