A 20-year-old pregnant Marine who was expected to testify about something she witnessed on base has been missing since mid-December, authorities said.
The Marine Corps said Wednesday it is cooperating fully with the Onslow County Sheriff's Office in the disappearance of Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, who is about eight months pregnant.
The sheriff's office has said Lauterbach's mother reported that her daughter was supposed to testify about an on-base incident.
"There are several findings and pieces of evidence that have been discovered that cause law enforcement to be concerned with the circumstances surrounding Maria's disappearance," the sheriff's department said in a statement.
Pregnant Marine Vanishes From Base, Maria Lauterbach, 20, Disappears From Camp Lejeune Prior To Testimony About Incident On Base - CBS News
Sheriff's investigators did not return calls seeking additional comment Wednesday, and it was not clear what Lauterbach was expected to say in testimony.
The State Bureau of Investigation also is working on the case. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy investigators are cooperating with the investigation, said First Lt. Richard Ulsh, a public affairs officer with the 2nd Marine Logistics Group.
Authorities say Lauterbach, originally from Dayton, Ohio, was reported missing Dec. 19 by her mother, who last spoke with her daughter on Dec. 13. Her cell phone was found Dec. 20 near the main gate at Camp Lejeune.
Lauterbach is assigned to the 2nd Marine Logistics Group of the II Marine Expeditionary Force. Camp Lejeune officials said she joined the Marine Corps in June 2006 and was trained as a personnel clerk.
I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld
Hmm, do you think the people she was about to testify against were stupid enough to hurt her??? If so, don't they think that they will be the first people law enforcement will be interested in???
Still, she's a pregnant woman. I say where is the father of the baby???
This is in my area. Scary.
they did a story on her on Nancy Grace last nite. Apparently they dont know who the father of the baby is. not even her mother knows....
Well, the whore apples sure didn't fall far from the whore tree. Sylkyn
Sheriff: Pregnant missing Marine is dead
Authorities are looking for a fellow soldier who is considered a suspect
MSNBC News Services
updated 10:32 a.m. PT, Fri., Jan. 11, 2008
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - A pregnant Marine missing for nearly a month is dead, and investigators were seeking a fellow Marine she had accused of sexually assaulting her, authorities said Friday.
Authorities had not recovered the body of 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Maria Frances Lauterbach, but they believed she was buried in a shallow grave in a residential area of coastal Onslow County, Sheriff Ed Brown said.
The suspect, 21-year-old Cpl. Cesar Armando Lauren, has declined to meet with investigators and is not in custody, he said.
“They don’t know where he is,” Brown said of the suspect. “He’s gone.”
Lauterbach had claimed a superior had sexually assaulted her, and she was worried that the investigation was going nowhere, according to court documents. She vanished last month before she was to testify in a military probe.
Naval investigators said Friday the military was pursuing rape charges against Lauren, and had planned to hold a hearing in December.
The court papers said the anticipated birth of the baby “might provide evidentiary credence to charges she lodged with military authorities that she was sexually assaulted by a senior military person.”
Earlier, Brown spoke to TODAY co-host Matt Lauer and expressed the likelihood of a positive outcome.
“Right now the needle of hope is pointing more positive than negative,” he said.
A ‘friendly relationship’
Brown said Lauren refused to speak with detectives, on the advice of his attorneys. Authorities said they didn’t consider Lauren a flight risk until Friday, because they had information the pair carried on a “friendly relationship” after she reported the assault to military authorities.
The State Bureau of Investigation and the Marine Corps were assisting in the search for Lauren, who had not been charged with Lauterbach’s death.
Lauterbach, who is thought to suffer from bipolar disorder, last called her mother, Mary Lauterbach, on Dec. 14. Five days later, on Dec. 19, Mary Lauterbach reported her daughter missing, and the next day the Marine’s cell phone was found near the gates of Camp Lejeune.
Her car was subsequently found abandoned at a bus station in Jacksonville, N.C.
Brown said Friday she had purchased a bus ticket to El Paso, Texas, the day after she spoke with her stepmother, but the ticket has not been used.
Mary Lauterbach has confirmed reports that her daughter is a compulsive liar. Last year, she alleged that she had been raped by a superior officer at Camp Lejeune. On Thursday, The Marine Corps Times, citing anonymous sources, reported that she had withdrawn the allegation and may have left the base and gone into hiding to avoid answering questions.
Other news reports said that Lauterbach said the investigation into her allegation “had gone sour.”
News reports brought tips
Friday morning, Brown told Lauer he would not comment as a matter of policy on Lauterbach’s mental state. He said that recent national publicity has inspired a number of calls to his office that have helped shed light on the case. “It generated some information last night,” he said.
Sgt. Daniel Durham, the Marine with whom Lauterbach was sharing a residence, reportedly took her in as a “good Samaritan.” He’d been interviewed by investigators after Lauterbach was first reported missing.
“He’s coming back as someone closest to her,” Brown said. “They shared a residence together. They were friends and associates. He’s possibly the closest person who would be able to give us some real, quality information about her life.”
Investigators have previously reported that there has been activity on Lauterbach’s bank accounts and withdrawals made with her ATM card since her disappearance. One withdrawal was made by someone who attempted to cover the security camera.
Lauterbach was eight months pregnant at the time of her disappearance and should be due to give birth soon. She is described as being 5 feet 4 inches tall with blond hair and blue eyes. She has a Marine Corps tattoo on her upper right arm.
According to official records, she joined the Marines in June 2006 and was assigned to a logistics regiment. She had not been deployed overseas during her enlistment.
Please check back for more on this developing story.
The Associated Press and TODAY show writer Mike Celizic contributed to this report.
URL: Sheriff: Pregnant missing Marine is dead - TODAY: People - MSNBC.com
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She has been found dead and that Cesar person is the primary suspect. Just heard it on the AP wire. She was burried in a shallow grave.
Something about the words pregnant and Marine just doesn't seem like they belong in the same sentence.
oh i hope they fry this guy
Well, the whore apples sure didn't fall far from the whore tree. Sylkyn
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