Pregnant Marine is Dead…

1-22-08 Breaking News. Cesar Laurean has been sighted in Mexico.

Update 1-15-08 11:51 p.m. Cesar Laurean’s truck has been found. More info at the 1st link below:

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Update 11:12 p.m. – In an interview outside the family home in Vandalia Ohio, Lauterbach’s Uncle Pete Steiner said that the rapist is also the father of the baby.

If their are any updates overnight in the case I will try and get them up before I go to work in the morning. Unfortunately some of us have day jobs too 🙂

Update 10:09 p.m. – I just got back from work and found a couple more updates when I stopped in at Scared Monkey’s Missing Persons. The remains they have found appear to be in a fire pit in Cpl Laurean’s back yard.

Even though they aren’t doing any digging in the yard tonight they have searched the house and found traces of violent activity and blood spatter as well as evidence of an attempted cleanup according to Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown. They did a bit of light digging and found what appears to be burnt human remains.

The investigation is being treated as a murder.


Apparently Laurean left some sort of a note to his wife that says Lauterbach had committed suicide and that he had buried the body. He also said in the note that she has cut her own throat and that he had nothing to do with the suicide.

Evidence now is saying what he’s claiming happened did not happen like he said it happened,
Sheriff Brown

I am assuming that the former Marine that came forward to the police would be Laurean’s wife, Christina. That assumption seems to be shared by some of the folks over at this Facebook discussion that’s currently going on. According to one commenter (who may or may not have a real clue), the pregnancy was a direct result of the rape. I have been going on the assumption that Laurean was the father although DNA testing may be impossible now if the body was burned badly enough.

Another question comes to mind here. Why is it that Maria Lauterbach was missing for five days before it was finally reported, by her mother? Shouldn’t she have been considered AWOL or something along those lines? I understand it was shortly before the holidays but my son is stationed at Camp Johnson, right next to LeJeune, and from what I have seen they are pretty much on top of things.

Not only that, but the reports I have seen on CNN seem like it has been getting reported on, but the police in Onslow County as well as the Marine Corps haven’t seen to have taken it real serious that an eight-month pregnant chick was missing, at least up until today. Obviously the Marine Corps has most likely been trying to locate her and does not necessarily share everything it knows but it damn sure seems like the Onslow County Sheriff is trying to cover his ass very quickly.

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CNN just showed a press conference from Jacksonville, NC but unfortunately I missed most of it. Apparently authorities have found some sort of cavity near Corporal Laurean’s house, they do not know if Lauterbach is buried there and will search the area tomorrow. According to Yahoo! one of Laurean’s neighbors, Megan Melton has said that vultures have been hanging out in the area for the last few weeks. A body in a shallow grave would certainly explain that.

cavity.jpg

America’s Most Wanted has the story up as well as Corporal Cesar Laurean’s photo for those that want to check it out. The are saying that Laurean might be headed for Nevada, which is where he is from.

They are also reporting that police had said an unidentified man used Lauterbach’s ATM card at a Marine Federal  Credit Union on Christmas Eve. He attempted to cover the surveillance camera with a rag while he withdrew money from her account.

Police are no longer looking anywhere else for Lauterbach and District Attorney Dewey Hudson said that there is a strong indication that there are human remains in the cavity.

lauterbach

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I’ve been following the story about Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach for about a week now but in between work and other stuff I haven’t had the opportunity.

CNN is reporting that Onslow County, North Carolina Sheriff Ed Brown announced at a news conference earlier today that Lauterbach is dead and buried in a shallow grave. Lance Cpl. Lauterbach was reported missing on December 19th but her disappearance was not pursued vigorously until this past week because of all the Marines on leave for the holidays. Earlier today Brown said that a positive outcome was still possible and that police and her family were unsure if she had run away. That was before police received news from an unidentified female witness who is a former Marine that she was dead.

Sheriff Brown did say that authorities believe they know the residential area where she was buried.

My question is did this girl see the murder and if not, then how is Sheriff Brown so sure that she’s dead and buried. Her blue 2006 Hyundai Sonata was found at a bus station near Camp LeJeune five days ago and her cell phone was found along N.C. Highway 24 (outside of the Camp LeJeune gates on December 20th. I just hung up with my boy and he is apparently catching the bus from that station right now. Obviously he couldn’t give me any information and I doubt that he knows any more scuttlebutt than the rest of us anyway.

maria_lauterbach Back in December Lauterbach had accused a fellow Marine of raping her and had met with military prosecutors last month to discuss pursuing rape charges against Corporal Cesar Armando Laurean of 103 Meadow Trail, Jacksonville, NC. Laurean is 21 and from Nevada.

Laurean has refused to speak to authorities on the advice of his attorney. They didn’t consider him a flight risk until today because they apparently have information that the two carried on a friendly relationship after she had reported the sexual assault to the military. He disappeared shortly after four this morning. The North Carolina Bureau of Investigation and the Marine Corps as cooperating in helping find Laurean. He is white, 5′ 9″, weighs 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Police believe that he is driving a black 2004 Dodge Quad Cab pickup with NC plates TRR-1522. According to my source he had something like an eight hour head start before they started looking for him.

Lance Cpl Lauterbach last spoke to her mother on December 14th, the same day that she bought a one-way bus ticket to El Paso, Texas. The bust ticket she bought was good for six months but according to ticket agent Roshaun Hames she had scheduled to use it on December 15th. She never showed up for the bus.

According to most of the reports I have read over the last few days (up until today’s news conference). In search warrants and incident reports attached to those warrants, Maria’s roommate said that she had been bed-ridden lately because of her pregnancy. They also state that Maria’s mother told investigators that Maria claimed she was raped by a senior officer in her command at Camp LeJeune. They also state that Maria has a history of being a compulsive liar. That seems to have hampered some of the interest in finding her up to this point. You can check out the search warrant here at WRAL.

Prosecutor’s apparently believed that they had enough evidence to argue that the case should go before a Court Martial and that the anticipated birth of the baby might provide evidentiary credence to the charges that she lodged.

Camp LeJeune ordered Maria’s roommate, Sgt Daniel Durham to return from training in California to answer some questions about her disappearance. He is supposed to be arriving in Jacksonville, NC some time in the last hour. Deputies are also looking through Western Union records to see if anyone had been wiring her money prior to today. They report that suspicious activity had been reported on her bank accounts.

Sgt Durham is not consider

ed a suspect. He was questioned but does not appear to have any link to her death. Lauterbach rented a room in Durham’s home, which is off base, because she had been subjected to repeated harassment by the Marines after she had reported allegedly being raped. Her car had been keyed and an anonymous person had slugged her in the face.

I have several more updates for this but it’s time to head outside for a smoke…

A handwritten note from the Lauterbach family in Vandalia Ohio said that:

We would like to thank everyone for their prayers in this time of grieving. Maria has been a gift for her family and friends. The outpouring of love from family, friends, neighbors and the general community has been very touching.

Please understand that the family needs time alone to deal with this tragedy. We wish to thank everyone for their love and concern.

From doing a bit more reading it is apparent that Sheriff Brown stated a witness came forward at 8 a.m. this morning with a statement and evidence to support it, that convinced authorities of the death.

What I find really interesting is that now they think she is dead and I don’t see any more news articles claiming anything about her being a compulsive liar. That is one of the reasons I had not blogged on this yet, I guess it was all the writing I had done about Meredith Emerson in the last few days, it has me feeling morbid. Apparently Dig ad veritas at Dig Deeper Texas agrees with me on this one. I also find it somewhat irritating. Of course the media is very quick to sling mud (probably even quicker than I am) at anyone they perceive to be wrong with you. Perception becomes reality.

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