The man bailed out of jail by missing teacher Cathryn Gorospe Friday is back in police custody after he was found with her car and credit cards. A witness said there was blood in the car, and he fled from police, according to a release from Flagstaff PD.
Arrest documents from Phoenix PD say "Flagstaff police had reason to believe that Charlin Malzahn had committed a homicide."
Malzahn, 27, was spotted by Tucson police at the Tucson Mall Saturday around 1 p.m. after Malzahn tried to use Gorospe's credit card to make a purchase. He said he had her permission to do so. Police seized the cards.
An acquaintance who met up with Malzahn in Clifton, Arizona, allegedly for Malzahn to pick up a gun and drugs, traveled with him to Tucson.
The acquaintance told police that Malzahn was driving a vehicle that matched the description of Gorospe's car, adding that there was blood on the center console and damage to the car. Police entered the car into a national database as a possible homicide vehicle.
Around 1:30 a.m. Monday, Phoenix police officers spotted the car and tried to make a stop. According to Flagstaff PD, Malzahn fled before crashing. Officers then took him into custody.
Gorospe’s family heard updates on the investigation Tuesday afternoon from the Flagstaff Police Department. Her brother, Cory Gorospe, spoke of what justice meant to him after hearing what his sister may have been through.
"My justice is to get this guy in my hands and beat the s*** out of him. I’ll be honest with you. I don’t care what they do in the courts, if I had a chance to take him I would. That’s my heart. He took my heart,” the missing woman’s brother said.
Sgt. Cory Runge with the Flagstaff Police Department said Gorospe and Malzhan had been romantically involved, but it wasn’t clear whether that relationship was ongoing at the time of Gorospe’s disappearance.
“I knew she was dating a guy but she said it was a one-time deal,” Gorospe’s father said.
Though police were not calling it a homicide Tuesday afternoon, Sgt. Runge said the signs of an altercation made it difficult to believe Gorospe was safe.
“We do have some information that makes us very concerned that that may not be the case,” Sgt. Runge said.
“I’m always hopeful, yeah, I’m not giving up hope, never,” Gorospe’s father said.
Police are looking for more information about the case, including anyone who saw the car, described as a white Toyota Rav 4 with Green Bay Packers stickers. They believe he traveled between Friday night and Saturday afternoon from Flagstaff through Williams, Chino Valley, Prescott, Prescott Valley, through Phoenix to Clifton and eventually through Safford to Tucson.
If you have any information about a crash involving the vehicle or information otherwise related to this case, call Flagstaff police at 928-774-1414.
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