Saturday, May 28

Former US Airman Sentenced to Life in Prison for Kidnapping, Killing Mennonite Teacher

The Mennonite teacher was reported missing, but was later found dead.

Photo: Maricopa Sheriff’s Office/Courtesy

An Arizona man was sentenced to life in prison last Wednesday after a jury found him guilty of kidnapping and killing a Mennonite woman.

Mark Gooch was sentenced to life in prison for murder and an additional five years for the kidnapping charge, to be run consecutively, reported 12NEWS; he was also ordered to pay restitution.

During the sentencing hearing, Coconino County Superior Court Judge Cathleen Nichols said it was “the most pointless case” she had ever presided over, the station reported.

“It just doesn’t make sense why a human being would do this to another human being,” he added.

Body of missing Mennonite woman is believed to be found in Arizona a month  after she disappeared | Daily Mail Online
Sasha Krause was reported missing.

How the death of the Mennonite woman happened

On January 18, 2020, Sasha Krause was reported missing from the Mennonite community in Farmington, New Mexico. The 27-year-old woman mysteriously disappeared after running an “errand” at Farmington Mennonite Church where she was preparing to teach Sunday school.

On February 22, the police discovered the lifeless body of Krause near Sunset Crater National Monument in Flagstaff in Arizona, according to the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.

She suffered a closed head injury and was shot in the back of the head. She was found with her wrists bound with duct tape, the court heard during the October trial.

During the time Krause was missing, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office detectives used cell phone records and surveillance video to learn that Gooch had traveled from Luke Air Force Base, where she lived, to Farmington, for what was finally arrested in April 2020.

marca gooch
Mark Gooch was sentenced to life in prison. (Photo: Maricopa Sheriff’s Office)

There was no evidence that Krause knew his killer. During the trial, prosecutors said investigators discovered text messages between Gooch and his brother that indicated resentment toward the Mennonite community, which Gooch grew up in but later shunned, according to multiple outlets.

Krause’s parents, who live in Texas, did not attend the hearing but asked a representative to read a letter to Judge Nichols. Her parents described Krause as a good sister, conscientious, eager to read at a young age and determined, the Associated Press reported.

“God will use her death for His glory, and I am convinced that He has eternal purposes for Sasha that we can only guess from here,” they wrote.

Before his death, Krause taught school for six years in a Mennonite community in Grandview, Texas, before moving to Farmington, where he worked in a publishing ministry.

Also read:
Louisiana man arrested for burning down a building with a corpse and a dog inside
Teenagers arrested in England are sons of alleged Texas synagogue hijacker
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