The convicted felon bailed out of jail Friday by a now missing Glendale kindergarten teacher is related to the Williams police chief.
And it was in Williams that Charlie Malzahn, 27, was arrested Aug. 20, landing him in the Coconino County Jail for nearly seven weeks.
Malzahn, who was the last person to see 44-year-old Cathryn Gorospe after she posted bond for him Friday, is the stepson of Williams Police Chief Herman Nixon.
Gorospe is still missing and Malzahn is not talking to police about her whereabouts. He was arrested Monday while driving a blood-stained Toyota Rav 4 that is believed to have belonged to Gorospe.
Williams Police Department spokesman Lt. Darrell Hixson confirmed the police chief’s relationship with Malzahn and said that Nixon had not seen or had contact with his stepson in more than a year prior to the August 20 arrest in Williams. Malzahn attended Williams High School a decade ago.
Malzahn was charged with auto theft, being a prohibited possessor of a gun and possessing a gun during the commission of a felony.
The auto theft charge arose out of an incident in Tempe in which Malzahn allegedly stole his sister’s Chrysler Town and Country.
The sister told police that Malzahn was driving her car with her and her children in it on Interstate 10 when he accused her of trying to have him “sniped” by the driver of the car next to him. He stopped the car, pulled out a black handgun and kicked his sister and her children out of the vehicle, then drove away.
Malzahn later phoned his sister to tell her that he had left the car at the Canyon Club, a restaurant in Williams. He was arrested by Williams police as he left the establishment.
He was carrying a loaded gun at the time of his arrest, which he was not allowed to carry because he is a convicted felon.
Malzahn interacted with police departments across multiple counties during the three days between Gorospe bonding him out on Oct. 6 and his arrest on Oct. 9.
Tucson police say Malzahn tried to buy items at a mall with Gorospe's credit and debit cards last Saturday afternoon and he may have been driving her Toyota Rav 4.
The vehicle was spotted early Monday in Phoenix and Malzahn was arrested after he crashed the SUV following a police pursuit.
On Saturday morning in Clifton, where Nixon and his stepson previously lived, Malzahn contacted some acquaintances trying to get drugs and a gun, Flagstaff Police spokesman Sgt. Cory Runge said in a press release. Gorospe was not reported missing by her roommate until Sunday afternoon.
Malzahn’s acquaintance in Clifton told police Malzahn was driving a Toyota Rav 4, which matched the description of Gorospe’s vehicle, Runge said. The acquaintance said the vehicle was missing end pieces of the rear bumper and had damage to the front quarter panel, and said there was blood on the center console, interior passenger door, sunroof area and the interior driver door, Runge said. Clifton police then updated the status in the national database as a possible homicide vehicle, he said.
On Monday at about 1:30 a.m., Phoenix Police spotted the vehicle, and Malzahn tried to flee. During the pursuit, he crashed the car and was taken into custody, Runge said. He has not given any update to Gorospe’s whereabouts, Runge said.
Phoenix Police arrested Malzahn on suspicion of unlawful flight, resisting arrest and aggravated assault, Runge said. All charges in Phoenix so far relate to his actions there, not to Gorospe’s disappearance, Runge said.
Malzahn and Gorospe had a romantic relationship at some point, Runge said.
Gorospe’s friend Mikaela Viloria did not respond to questions regarding Malzahn but described Gorospe as an “incredible woman.”
Gorospe is a kindergarten teacher at Arrowhead Elementary School, according to the Deer Valley Unified School District
Malzahn has an extensive criminal history, including convictions for assault, theft, aggravated assault, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, criminal damage and drug charges.
Police are asking for the public’s help to see if anyone recognizes seeing Malzahn and Gorospe together or recognizes the white Toyota Rav 4 with Green Bay Packers stickers on it. Police suspect Malzahn traveled from Flagstaff to Williams, Chino Valley, Prescott, Prescott Valley and Clifton. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Flagstaff Police Department at 928-774-1414.