Body of missing New Mexico woman found in northern Arizona
PHOENIX – The body of a missing New Mexico woman was found last week north of Flagstaff near Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, authorities said.
A camper reported finding the body Friday. Investigators recovered the woman off Forest Service Road 545 along Highway 89 and transported her to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s office in Flagstaff.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday she’d been identified as 27-year-old Sasha Krause. The medical examiner was working to determine the cause of death.
She was identified by matching her fingerprints to Texas Motor Vehicle Department records, authorities said.
Krause had been missing since Jan. 18 from Farmington, New Mexico.
The investigation into Krause’s disappearance and death is ongoing.
Anybody with information about the case or who may have seen anything suspicious in the areas of Sunset Crater and the Wupatki National Monument were asked to call Silent Witness at 928-774-6111 or the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at 928-226-5038.
“I think it’s all just kind of a mystery right now,” CCSO spokesman Jon Paxton said. “Once we get a cause from the ME, that’s really going to lead us forward.”
Paxton said it’s unclear when Krause died or how long her body had been there.
Krause was wearing the same clothing — a gray dress with white pin stripes, a white jacket and black shoes — that she had on outside the Mennonite church where she was last seen, said San Juan County, New Mexico, sheriff’s spokeswoman Jayme Harcrow.
San Juan County authorities have been treating Krause’s disappearance as suspicious, checking her cellphone records and bank statements, and interviewing those who knew her. Searches by ground and air near where she lived turned up no sign of her.
Krause lived close to the church with other women who were known to travel together. She also taught Sunday school, was seemingly happy, wasn’t struggling financially and had a good relationship with her parents, Harcrow said.
She disappeared after eating dinner with her roommates but without her wallet, money, her driver’s license or car, indicating she might not have left on her own or willingly, Harcrow said.
“Based off her leaving unusually and being found dead in a remote location, our office is comfortable saying we’re treating it as a homicide investigation,” Harcrow said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.