FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – Crime lab analysts took the stand Tuesday in the trial of Mark Gooch charged with the murder of Mennonite Sasha Krause. One testified that she was asked to analyze DNA swabs from a rifle, vice grips, duct tape on Krause’s hands and her neck. Krause’s body was found in a forest near Flagstaff more than a month after she was abducted from her Mennonite community near Farmington.
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Airman Mark Gooch is accused of the crime because of his alleged hatred for the Mennonite community. The analyst testified that the DNA on the vice grips matched Gooch but because of the time the body spent in the elements they had a hard time testing the other DNA they retrieved including on Krause’s neck.
Gooch’s attorneys were quick to try and use that to their advantage. “I could tell that it was a mixture of at least two people but that’s all the information that I could get from it because it was very low level and the sample is what we call degraded. So the DNA starting to break down and I wasn’t able to develop a full DNA profile,” said Erin Diggins, crime lab analyst.
Also taking the stand Tuesday was an investigator with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Exdplosives. He testified that the suspected murder weapon was originally purchased by James Gooch, Mark’s father at a Walmart in North Carolina in 1999.