A 32-year-old man will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing his teacher girlfriend in 2017 not long after she bailed him out of jail.
The Associated Press reports Charlie Malzahn was handed the life sentence without the possibility for parole by a Coconino County judge Tuesday, July 12, for the death of 44-year-old Cathryn Gorospe. He reportedly pleaded guilty in June to first-degree murder, abandonment of a body, theft of means of transportation, theft of a credit card, and armed robbery. Prosecutors reportedly dropped capital punishment against Malzahn after he entered the plea.
Gorospe’s roommate reported her missing to Flagstaff Police on Oct. 8, 2017, because she had not seen Gorospe for several days.
According to the Flagstaff Police Department, Gorospe was last seen Oct. 6, 2017, heading to the Coconino County Jail to bond out Malzahn. She reportedly had plans to get her boyfriend out of jail, have dinner, then drive him back to Phoenix. Her roommate became concerned, however, because Gorospe did not make arrangements for someone to watch her dog.
The roommate told police Gorospe drove a white Toyota Rav4, and investigators began searching for her. Flagstaff Police said they believed Malzahn and Gorospe headed westbound on the I-40, and at some point, “Malzahn took the vehicle from Gorospe.”
In Clifton, Arizona, Malzahn reportedly contacted acquaintances looking for drugs and a gun. One person drove with Malzahn to Tucson and bought some items at a gas station. He was stopped by Tucson Police on Oct. 7, 2017, for reportedly using Gorospe’s credit cards. The acquaintance who traveled with Malzahn reportedly told Tucson Police that Malzahn was driving a white Toyota Rav4, but there was significant damage to the vehicle.
According to police, there was blood on the center console of the car as well as the interior passenger door, sunroof, and interior driver door.
On Oct. 9, 2017, at 1:30 a.m., Phoenix Police reportedly tried to stop the vehicle, but Malzahn fled. He crashed the car during a pursuit and was eventually taken into custody.
Not long before his arrest, he allegedly assaulted a female Arizona State University student in her dorm, KNXV-TV reported.
About a week after she was last seen, on Oct. 13, 2017, law enforcement officials discovered human remains believed to be those of Gorospe.
According to the Arizona Republic, Gorospe had been stabbed to death. Malzahn reportedly left her body in a remote area of Yavapi County, but investigators believe she was killed in Coconino County.
The Associated Press reports Gorospe put her own house up as collateral for bonding him out and hoped to get Malzahn to stop using drugs.