A search is underway for a Glendale kindergarten teacher who went missing after bailing a man out of a Flagstaff jail on Oct. 6, officials said.
Cathryn Gorospe's roommate reported her missing on Sunday afternoon, saying it was unusual for Gorospe not to have made arrangements for her dog if she was going to be away for a while.
Flagstaff resident Charlie Malzahn, 27, was taken into custody in Phoenix on Monday after police say he was caught using 44-year-old Cathryn Gorospe's credit and debit cards in Tucson and fleeing from police in Phoenix.
Authorities say he has refused to provide information on the whereabouts of Gorospe, who teaches at Arrowhead Elementary School in north Glendale.
Deer Valley Unified School District spokeswoman Monica Allread said the district is "very worried" about Gorospe, who has been teaching for 20 years. Teachers have provided age-appropriate information to students, as well as counseling and assurances, Allread said.
Police seek the public's help, hoping someone saw one or both of them traveling in Gorospe's white 2010 Toyota Rav4 with Green Bay Packers stickers.
Bailing out a friend
Charlie Malzahn (Photo: Flagstaff Police Department)
Gorospe reportedly told her roommate she was going to post bail for Malzahn, who had been in Coconino County Jail since Aug. 20, have dinner and then return home, Flagstaff police spokesman Sgt. Cory Runge said.
Authorities said shortly after 10 p.m., Gorospe bailed out Malzahn, who was booked on charges of theft, prohibited possession of a gun, possession of a gun during the commission of a felony and entering a public establishment after a reasonable request to have no weapons in the establishment.
Officials believe Malzahn and Gorospe traveled west from Flagstaff, but haven't confirmed how long the two were together.
Police believe Malzahn took the vehicle from Gorospe at some point during his travels through Chino Valley, Prescott, Prescott Valley, Dewey, Phoenix, Tempe, Gold Canyon and ultimately Clifton, about 30 miles west of the New Mexico border.
Runge said Malzahn contacted several acquaintances to get drugs and a gun early on Oct. 7 in Clifton. One acquaintance agreed to go with Malzahn to Tucson, stopping at a Shell gas station and a Dollar General in Safford along the way, Runge said.
About 1 p.m., Tucson police contacted Malzahn at Tucson Mall after he attempted to purchase items with a woman's credit card, Runge said. Malzahn told officers he had permission to have the credit and debt cards, which belonged to Gorospe, Runge said.
The officer seized the purchased items and cards for further investigation but did not detain him, Runge said.
Cathryn Gorospe's 2010 Toyota Rav4. (Photo: Flagstaff Police Department)
Blood reportedly in SUV
Malzahn's acquaintance, whom Flagstaff police did not name, described the vehicle Malzahn was driving as a white Rav4 that was missing portions of the rear bumper and had damage to the front quarter panel, Runge said.
The acquaintance told police there was blood on the center console, interior passenger door, sunroof and visor area and the interior driver door panel, Runge said.
Malzahn also had a cut on his right thumb, the acquaintance told police.
Based on the information, police updated the missing vehicle in a national database to indicate a possible homicide, Runge said.
Police: Malzahn nabbed in Phoenix
Phoenix police spotted Gorospe's vehicle near 59th Avenue and Camelback Road at about 1:30 a.m. Monday, prompting a pursuit after Malzahn tried to flee from the officers, Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard said.
Malzahn crashed the vehicle near 27th and Northern avenues and was taken into custody without further incident, Howard said.
As Malzahn was being fingerprinted, he assaulted two officers and tried to escape, Howard said. One officer sustained a 9-inch cut on the back of his head during the struggle, Howard said.
Malzahn was eventually subdued and booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on charges of unlawful flight, resisting arrest, attempted escape and aggravated assault, police said.
A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 19 and Malzahn's bond was set at $2,700.
In March, Malzahn pleaded guilty to DUI. In August, he faced charges of prohibited possession of a gun.
In 2012, Malzahn was found guilty of aggravated assault on an officer, assault and resisting arrest.
Officials describe Gorospe as 5 feet, 5 inches and 150 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Flagstaff police at 928-774-1414.
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