ASU student carjacked by Malzahn describes encounter as 'horrific'

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Shannon McCrea, a 20-year-old college student said Charlie Malzahn, the main suspect in the disappearance and murder of Cathryn Gorospe, threatened to her hurt and then stole her car the night of Oct. 8, one day prior to his arrest. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Shannon McCrea, a 20-year-old college student said Charlie Malzahn, the main suspect in the disappearance and murder of Cathryn Gorospe, threatened to her hurt and then stole her car the night of Oct. 8, one day prior to his arrest. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Charlie Malzhan (Source: Flagstaff Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and Arizona Department of Corrections) Charlie Malzhan (Source: Flagstaff Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and Arizona Department of Corrections)
(Source: Flagstaff Police Department) (Source: Flagstaff Police Department)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A 20-year-old college student said Charlie Malzahn, the main suspect in the disappearance and murder of Cathryn Gorospe, threatened to hurt her and then stole her car the night of Oct. 8, one day prior to his arrest. 

Shannon McCrea, a senior at ASU, said she was coming back to her friend's apartment after a run at In-N-Out Burger to watch a movie. When she got out of the car, she said she saw Malzahn running toward her.

[Police report: Man bailed out by missing teacher carjacked his sister]

"It felt like a bad dream. It was probably one of the worst nights I hope I'll ever experience," said McCrea.

She said at first, she didn't take him seriously.

"He was holding up a baton and he said, 'I'm so sorry, but I need you to give me your keys,'" McCrea said. "It was visible that he was on drugs or under the influence of something."

But then, she said the threats in her friend's parking garage, with plenty of people around, escalated.

"He said, 'Give me your keys or I'll bash your face in,'" McCrea said.

She said Malzahn had dirt all over him.

Police say he dumped the car with a blown tire a mile east on Apache Boulevard.

When he was arrested in Phoenix a day later, after being spotted in Gorospe's blood-stained vehicle, he had McCrea's identification and debit card on him. 

We also know he's accused of an assault at this ASU dorm just before stealing McCrea's car, on the same night Gorospe was reported missing. 

"It was pretty overwhelming to hear who he was," McCrea said. "It was surprising and it was horrific, and it was something I wish I or anyone else would never have to experience."

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Lindsey ReiserLindsey Reiser is a Scottsdale native and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

Click to learn more about Lindsey

Lindsey Reiser

Lindsey returned to the Valley in 2010 after covering border and immigration issues in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso she investigated public corruption, uncovered poor business practices, and routinely reported on the violence across the border.

Lindsey feels honored to have several awards under her belt, including a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, Hearst Journalist Award, and several National Broadcast Education Association Awards.

Lindsey is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and she currently serves as a mentor to journalism students. She studied for a semester in Alicante, Spain and also earned a degree in Spanish at ASU.

She is proud to serve as a member of United Blood Services’ Community Leadership Council, a volunteer advisory board for the UBS of Arizona.

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