New details released in murder of Mennonite woman

Crime

FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – The man accused of kidnapping and killing a Mennonite woman from Farmington is now behind bars on a $1 million bond. More details have been released about his possible connection to the church and what may have happened to Sasha Krause.

“She did her best in everything that came to her. And there was nobody, I would have less expected this to happen to,” said Samuel Coon, a co-worker of Sasha Krause. Members of the Farmington Mennonite Church have been seeking answers ever since Sasha Krause went missing on January 18.

“She drove the few hundred yards from her home to the church building to pick up the Sunday school books and about 1:30 the next morning one of her co-workers here realized that Sasha had not returned,” said Coon.

The 27-year-old was a Sunday school teacher and worked at Lamp and Light Publishers. She also wrote poetry and music to earn a living but on February 21, her body was found more than 250 miles away in the Flagstaff area, near the Sunset Crater Volcano National Park. Krause’s church members mourned her passing but it wasn’t until Tuesday that her accused killer was identified.

“San Juan County has lived in fear, not knowing if we had a predator living inside our community, or somebody that was praying upon it. I can assure you, we have our man,” said Sheriff Shane Ferrari of San Juan County.

Coconino County deputies arrested an airman, 21-year-old Mark Gooch at his home on Luke Air Force Base outside Phoenix. Arresting documents say a gun was used in the crime, they also say Gooch was charged with theft, for taking Krause’s head covering and underwear.

“I can tell you we didn’t have any prior record or prior contact with him criminal wise,” said John Paxton with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.

The arresting documents provide an address in Wisconsin and according to people on a Facebook page called “Justice for Sasha Krause,” those in the Mennonite community say Gooch’s family are members of the Nationwide Mennonite Fellowship. However, people on the page that know of his family, said he was not heavily involved in the church.

Mark Gooch is expected in court in Flagstaff on Friday. Investigators have not given a motive for the crime or said if Gooch knew Krause before the kidnapping.

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