Missing Mennonite woman found murdered 200 miles from New Mexico home

Danielle Zoellner
San Juan County Sheriff's Office

A missing woman's body has been found more than 200 miles away from her home in New Mexico.

Sasha Marie Krause, 27, went missing last month after she was last seen outside Farmington Mennonite Church, and now authorities are saying she was murdered.

"To Sasha's family, I give my heartfelt condolences, on behalf of not only myself, but the San Juan County Sheriff's Office," San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari said on Tuesday. "Our investigation now transitions to a criminal investigation."

Her body was found in Coconino County, Arizona, which is just north of Flagstaff. A post-mortem examination confirmed the body was Ms Krause, but officials have yet to confirm the cause of death.

Investigators are now working to find and apprehend the person who "kidnapped and murdered" the woman, Mr Ferrari said.

The search started when Ms Krause went missing on 18 January after last being seen at her church. Authorities at the time called the death "suspicious" because her car was left in the parking lot, but they also believed she could've left at her own free will.

Aerial and canine searches turned up nothing in the surrounding area. A $50,000 reward by the police also yielded no credible information about the missing woman. Then, this past weekend, a camper discovered the woman's body in Arizona and alerted authorities.

People close with Ms Krause said they knew all along that the woman was kidnapped.

"We were convinced from the start that it was an abduction because we are a close-knit community. We know our people. We knew her integrity," Samuel Coon, an editor at Lamp & Light Publishers, where Krause worked, told the Daily Beast.

"Sasha was a person of deep integrity, very level-headed. There is no one I would have less expected this to happen to," he added.

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