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PD: Man last seen with Valley teacher considered suspect in her disappearance

Posted at 1:55 PM, Oct 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-17 08:27:20-04

The man last seen with a Valley teacher in northern Arizona is now being considered a suspect in her disappearance, Flagstaff police confirm.

Officials said Friday evening they believe they found the remains of Cathryn Gorospe outside of Coconino County. An autopsy was being performed on Monday to help determine the cause of the woman's death.

Sgt. Cory Runge said Monday that police are still waiting on confirmation on the identity of the body. 

The Glendale kindergarten teacher was last seen on Oct. 6, when she posted bond at Coconino County Jail for her friend, 27-year-old Charlie Malzahn.

Malzahn's sister, Lauren Mossman, spoke with ABC15 on Monday and explained her brother has battled with a long history of drug and mental health issues.

"He's sick; he's really sick," she explained.

According to police reports, Malzahn stole Mossman's car in August. He's accused of pulling out a gun before Mossman and her kids got out of the car. 

The police report says Malzahn thought his sister was going to have him "sniped" by another car. 

Mossman said her brother has a history of paranoia and often believed people were going to kill him.

Malzahn was working at a Williams restaurant in July when he met Gorospe. The two immediately became romantically involved and Mossman explained she also formed a friendship with Gorospe. 

Mossman says she didn't want her brother bonded out of jail but Gorospe wanted to help him get back on his feet.

"Our hearts are with Cathryn and her family," Mossman said.

She said she talked to her brother on the phone last week and he was emotional.

"I think he's realizing what he did was wrong," she said.

Mossman also wanted to apologize for everything that has transpired over the last two weeks. 

"I knew he was going to snap," Mossman said. "But I never thought he'd do this."

It's believed Malzahn took Gorospe's car the night she bailed him out of jail and then allegedly attempted to get drugs and a gun from an acquaintance in Clifton on Oct. 7.

He then went to Tucson, where he used Gorospe's debit and credit cards at a local mall. 

Malzahn is also accused of assaulting a female student at her ASU dorm on the night of October 8. Criminal charges have been filed in connection with that incident.

On October 9, Gorospe's SUV was seen in Phoenix. Malzahn, who was driving the car, was arrested after crashing the SUV following an officer-involved pursuit. 

Police say that he has not been cooperative in their efforts to find Gorospe. As of Monday, he was the only suspect being considered in her disappearance.

Runge told us on Monday that the case is being actively investigated.