Burnt Remains Found May Belong to Missing Pregnant Marine
Lance Cpl. Maria Frances Lauterbach, the 20 year old Marine that has been missing since early December has reportedly been found dead in the backyard of a comrade she had accused of rape. Maria had been set to testify about an unclassified “incident” on the Marine Lejune base in North Carolina when she turned up missing. Maria was around seven to eight months pregnant when she went missing, and was reported to the police by her mother.
After some light digging in a fire pit behind the household of Marine Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean, detectives found what “appeared to be burnt human remains,” Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson said Friday night. A person close to the case said that the suspect had left a note insisting that the woman had killed herself.
“We think we have found what will (contain) the skeletal remains of Maria Lauterbach,” Hudson said. There was a tarp being placed around the location at the fire pit early Saturday morning as forensics investigators began to excavate the site for any remaining clues as to the identity of the murder victim, though officials are fairly certain they belong to Maria. Maria’s remains were found due to a tip by another female former Marine that left authorities to assume that she was dead. A source told The Associated Press that the witness is Laurean’s wife.
Laurean is still at large and according to the witness, he had given his wife a note that said Lauterbach had cut her own throat and that her death was a suicide. In this letter he also reportedly stated that he had nothing to do with her death or her whereabouts.
Lauterbach had claimed that her superior office, had sexually assaulted her and she was worried that the investigation was going nowhere according to court documents. When she turned up missing immediately prior to her testify date authorities moved in to interrogate the officer but he had declined to meet with any investigators. Laurean reportedly disappeared from the base that Friday, and according to Paul Chiccarelli of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service said that Laurean was not considered a flight risk.
A key witness to the case had reportedly stated that Lauterbach had been dead for some time before authorities found the remains in Laureans’ backyard. Laurean continues to be at large and upon confirmation of the remains positively being affirmed as belonging to Maria Lauterbach, investigators will begin searching for Laurean as the key suspect in question to this sad murder case.
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