A Mennonite woman who went missing from New Mexico last month was kidnapped and murdered, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office said.
The body of 27-year-old Sasha Krause was found more than 250 miles away, near Flagstaff, Arizona.
“Over the last four weeks, we conducted ground searches, aerial searches, K-9 search and entered Sasha’s information to federal databases that would alert us if law enforcement had contact with her,” San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari said in a statement Tuesday.
Krause was last seen leaving her home within a Mennonite compound on January 18. A friend told police at the time Krause went to church to pick up schoolbooks and load them into her car, a San Juan County Sheriff’s Office missing person’s report shows.
Her vehicle was found parked at the Farmington Mennonite Church, just 75 yards away from where she lived, police said. Krause had left her belongings and purse inside her room, the report says, and there were no packed suitcases or letters left behind.
“Sasha’s purse.. still (had) her wallet inside, that had her credit cards, debit cards, and some cash still in it.”
Witnesses saw a white SUV
The New Mexico department was alerted about the discovery of a body in Arizona earlier this week by the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. Fingerprints confirmed Krause’s identity, Coconino police said Tuesday.
Police talked to community members after Krause’s disappearance who said they had noticed an “unknown vehicle parked at the back of the church,” the missing person’s report shows.
One woman told police that she noticed a white SUV, minivan or pickup truck, at the back of the church at around 8 p.m. – the time Krause left her home.
Another witness said around the same time, he was walking around and noticed “a white smaller SUV take off at a high rate of speed leaving the compound.”
The sheriff said both sheriff’s departments will work together to find the “individual responsible for Sasha’s kidnap and murder. “
“We are fully committed to capturing this individual and bringing peace to the Kraus family,” Ferrari said.
Meanwhile, the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office is working to determine the cause of death, police said.