Bondsman tried to get teacher not to pay suspect’s bail
PHOENIX (AP) — A bail bondsman tried to talk an Arizona teacher out of putting up cash for a convicted felon multiple times before she did and went missing shortly after, the man said Wednesday.
Tom Watson said he spoke to Cathryn Gorospe over the phone for several weeks before she decided to post bond for 27-year-old Charlie Malzahn on Oct. 6. Malzahn quickly became a suspect that weekend as authorities, family and friends searched for Gorospe.
Officials will use DNA testing to determine if remains found on private, rural property in Mayer are those of Gorospe, Flagstaff spokesman Cory Runge said.
The first time they spoke, he explained the bond process to Gorospe, and learned she only knew Malzahn for about a month and that they had gone on dates, Watson said.
“The first time she called, we talked for probably half an hour, an hour, and I talked her out of doing the bond because she really didn’t know the guy that well,” Watson said. “And she came across as a very wonderful, nice lady, and so I told her to think about it.”
The two remained in touch, and Gorospe called him back a few weeks later saying she was ready to do it, Watson said. Gorospe was interested in getting Malzahn a job, rehabbing him and making him go to narcotics anonymous meetings, he added.
But Gorospe only made up her mind the first week of October. They planned to meet outside Coconino County Jail that Friday.
They waited for a long time. At one point, Gorospe “got out of the car and she said ‘you know Tom, I thought about all the stuff you told me and the reasons why I’m going to get him out’ and she said ‘I guess I really do love him,’ ” Watson said.
“And that was the last talk we had before he got out,” Watson said.
Gorospe and Malzahn were supposed to eat dinner and return together to Phoenix, according to Gorospe’s roommate.
It’s unclear what happened, but authorities believe Malzahn took Gorospe’s vehicle before going on a crime spree across multiple cities around the state.
Gorospe’s family visited the site the body was found and saw the remains “on a mountain of dirt behind some old mining equipment in a little wash,” the victim’s brother Cory Gorospe said.
Authorities have classified the case as a homicide. But they are not yet releasing the cause of death.
“She was a very sociable person, someone you could just walk up to ... never really shied away from a conversation from anyone and always took the opportunity to meet new people,” Cory Gorospe said.