Friday, January 11, 2008


Marine Cpl. Maria Frances Lauterbach

The search is on for Marine Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean, 21,
suspected rapist/killer of Marine Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, and father of her unborn child.

Investigators search for the body of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach Friday.

Police are looking for a suspect driving this truck

A plain clothes Onslow County Sheriff's Deputy stands guard at the entrance to Meadow Trail near Jacksonville, N.C., on Friday, Jan.11, 2008, while deputies restrict traffic in the neighborhood where Marine Cpl Cesar Armando Lauren lives. Lauren is a suspect in the disappearance and death of pregnant Marine Lance Cpl Maria Frances Lauterbach. (AP Photo/Randy Davey)

Blood, possible grave of pregnant Marine found at suspect's house

JACKSONVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) -- Police believe they have found the remains of a missing Marine buried in the backyard of the prime suspect in the case and blood spatter evidence inside his home, authorities said Friday evening.

Tests found the "trace of violent activity in the house" and "evidence of an attempted cleanup," said Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown.

Investigators are treating the death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach as a murder, Brown added. Lauterbach, 20 -- who was eight months pregnant -- was reported missing from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, by her mother December 19.

Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean, whom Lauterbach had accused of rape, is the suspected killer, and is being sought, Brown said.

He confirmed that Laurean had left a note, but did not divulge what it said.

Investigators told CNN, however, that Laurean left a note to his wife saying Lauterbach had committed suicide and that he buried the body.

"Evidence now is saying what he's claiming happened did not happen like he said it happened," Brown said.

Authorities searching Laurean's home found a cavity in his backyard earlier Friday.
A preliminary investigation indicated a "suspicious situation," prompting police to secure the scene and wait for daylight Saturday.

"We think that we have found what would be the skeletal remains [of Lauterbach]," Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson told reporters.

While authorities will not know for sure until Saturday, "there are certainly some strong indicators that there are human remains" buried in the cavity, he said.

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand if there's a cavity out back and blood on the inside, that's probably going to be a key location for where this crime may have taken place," Brown said.

He also hinted that investigators have uncovered more twists in the case.

"I do think this case is going to be a bizarre ending, and when I say bizarre, more than just a death and a burial."


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