Airman denies killing Sunday school teacher Sasha Krause in police interview

Crime

FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – In April, two months after Sasha Krause’s body was found in the forest near Flagstaff, Arizona, Coconino County sheriff’s detective Lauren Jones found 21-year-old Mark Gooch at Luke Air Force Base.

Gooch was arrested for kidnapping and murder. “Sorry about that little trick there. I didn’t know where you would be at. So it’s just easiest to bring you into your workplace,” said Detective Jones.

Detective Jones asks Gooch, ”Do you have any idea why a detective with the sheriff’s office would want to speak with you?

She sat with him for nearly an hour and a half. “I am working a homicide investigation,” Jones said. Gooch said he thought maybe he was caught driving his motorcycle too fast, but Detective Jones told him she is investigating the death of 27-year-old Sasha Krause. She asks him if he has heard about the case. He said yes, he had heard about it on the news.

“She was from New Mexico, right? And she left home, left home one evening and they found her in Flagstaff area, correct?” said Gooch.

Detective Jones told Gooch that Krause was part of the Mennonite Church. They have a conversation about where he grew up. Gooch says he was raised in a Mennonite family on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, but he says it was tough and he never became part of the church. He says the lifestyle was a bit too restrictive for him.

Detective Jones asked him “Is there something that happened to you in the Mennonite church that upsets you?” Gooch said, “Not really, it’s just the way of life. I didn’t really like it and I was happy to be out of it.”

In the interview, Mark Gooch said on the day Krause vanished in January he took a drive to a ski resort near Flagstaff. It was closed so he drove to New Mexico. He had heard about a Mennonite community in Farmington from a family back home in Wisconsin. He says he went to see when they held service but denies ever knowing Sasha before hearing about her on the news.

After that, Detective Jones pointedly asks him if he was involved in Krause’s murder.

Gooch: “No ma’am.”
Detective Jones: “Did you abduct Sasha Krause?”
Gooch: “No ma’am. So, it sounds like I need to get a lawyer because you’re trying to pin something on me.”

Authorities say placing Gooch in New Mexico is just where their investigation started. He’s also accused of getting his car detailed the day after Krause’s body was found, and court documents say after he shot Krause, Gooch stole her head covering and underwear.

After his arrest, the sheriff’s office says one of his friends reported that Gooch asked him to stash a rifle at his home near Luke Air Force Base. Gooch’s brother Sam was later arrested and accused of trying to get rid of the gun.

Investigators say Sam Gooch, Mark’s brother, told them Mark does hold a grudge against the Mennonite Church because at times he felt mistreated. Sergeant Jason Lurkins with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said “It’s huge, it’s huge being able to have the murder weapon that links it to evidence that’s collected from Sasha.”

Meanwhile, prosecutors said crime lab tests show the bullet that killed Krause matches that .22-caliber rifle that belongs to Gooch.

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