Cathryn Gorospe
Cathryn Gorospe. Photo: Deer Valley Unified School District

A woman’s body found in Arizona was positively identified Friday as the sister of a Palm Springs Fire Department firefighter, who went missing shortly after bailing a man out of county jail.

Officials said her death is being investigated as a homicide.

Cathryn Gorospe, 44, the sister of PSFD’s Cory Gorospe, went missing Oct. 6 after visiting the Coconino County jail in Flagstaff at 10:12 p.m. to bail out 27-year-old Charlie Malzahn, who was in custody since August on suspicion of theft and firearm possession.

Gorospe was reported missing by her roommate, while Malzahn was found driving her car in Phoenix three days after her disappearance and was taken into custody.

Extensive search efforts ended last Saturday after a body was found on private property in Mayer, Arizona, about 90 miles south of Flagstaff.

Flagstaff police Friday said that through dental records, the Yavapai County Medical Examiner’s office positively identified Gorospe. The cause of death has not been disclosed, but police said it was believed to be a homicide.

Police have not yet identified Malzahn as a murder suspect in connection with Gorospe’s death, but did say that the discovery of her body came through “details and directions” that Malzahn gave investigators.

After leaving the jail, police say Malzahn contacted acquaintances on Saturday morning to get drugs and a gun. Tucson police met up with him that afternoon at the Tucson Mall after he allegedly purchased items using Gorospe’s credit card. He allegedly told police he had permission to use the card, but officers seized the credit card and items he purchased.

Gorospe was reported missing on Sunday afternoon by her roommate, who said that it was uncharacteristic of Gorospe to leave for a long period of time without making arrangements for someone to care for her dog. However, she did say that Gorospe had plans to eat dinner with Malzahn and travel to Phoenix with him.

Malzahn was arrested Monday morning in Phoenix following a pursuit and crash in Gorospe’s 2010 Toyota Rav 4, which police said was found with blood stains on the center console, interior passenger door, sunroof and interior driver door panel.

Malzahn is being held for the pursuit and for allegedly assaulting two arresting officers while being booked, including allegations that he put handcuffs around an officer’s head and neck and attempted to bite officers, according to an arrest report.

–City News Service

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