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Police Arrest U.S. Air Force Member For 'Horrendous' Murder Of Mennonite Woman In New Mexico

Police Arrest U.S. Air Force Member For 'Horrendous' Murder Of Mennonite Woman In New Mexico
San Juan County Sheriff's Office

A member of the United States Air Force was arrested earlier this week for the murder of a Mennonite woman.

She had disappeared from her home in New Mexico in mid-January.

Her body was eventually found more than a month later in Arizona.

The airman is charged with theft, kidnapping, and murder.

Airman arrested in murder investigation of Mennonite woman Sasha

When Sasha Krause went missing from her home in Farmington, New Mexico it sent shockwaves through her community. Despite aerial and canine searches of the surrounding area, nothing turned up

Then, two months ago, the body of Krause was found in Arizona. A camper found her body near Sunset Crater National Monument, outside of Flagstaff.

San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari gave his condolences in a statement.

"Our investigation now transitions to a criminal investigation... in trying to identify and apprehend the individual responsible for Sasha's kidnap and murder."

It was a difficult thing to deal with.

Initially, investigators were unsure if Krause was taken. Her car was left in a church parking lot, but she had taken her phone.

However, other members of the church and her coworkers immediately suspected foul play.

Samuel Coon, and editor at Lamp & Light Publishers where Krause worked said:

"We were convinced from the start that it was an abduction because we are a close-knit community. We know our people. We knew her integrity."
"Sasha was a person of deep integrity, very level-headed. There is no one I would have less expected this to happen to."

At the same time investigators were looking for Krause, they learned that airman Mark Gooch had traveled to Farmington, New Mexico from his home at the Air Force base in Glendale, Arizona.

Furthermore, the investigation placed him near Sunset Crater where the body was found.

Many online were understandably upset with Gooch.

This entire case has left many scratching their heads.

Investigators have not revealed if there was any motive to the crime. Nor is there any obvious link between the murderer and the victim.

It wasn't a crime of opportunity either, as Gooch would have had to transport the body across state lines.

Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona released a statement on the matter.

"We are aware of the arrest of a Luke AFB Airman today in relation to the death of Sasha Krause. As this is an ongoing criminal case, we are unable to comment further."