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Indictment Sought in Case of Slain Pregnant Marine

Posted January 23, 2008
Updated January 24, 2008

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— Onslow County authorities on Thursday plan to present evidence in the slaying of a pregnant Camp Lejeune Marine to a grand jury for a possible indictment.

Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean, 21, has been charged with murder in the death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, 20. Her charred remains were found two weeks ago in a shallow grave behind Laurean's Onslow County house.

Laurean has been the subject of a global manhunt since Jan. 11, when he disappeared after leaving a note for authorities claiming that Lauterbach had committed suicide and that he buried her in a panic.

Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson said Wednesday that FBI evidence he has reviewed indicates that Laurean crossed the border into Mexico by bus within two days of fleeing.

Laurean was born in Mexico – he became a U.S. citizen and was living in the Las Vegas area before joining the Marines – and has relatives there.

Hudson said he wants to obtain an indictment against Laurean to bolster his extradition case with the Mexican authorities if Laurean is captured in that country. An indictment would allow him to lay out the entire case against Laurean, including physical evidence and witnesses, he said.

He already has agreed not to seek the death penalty against Laurean. Mexico has for decades resisted extraditing people to the U.S. who could face a capital case.

Lauterbach, who accused Laurean of rape last spring, was reported missing Dec. 19. She was about eight months pregnant at the time.

According to an autopsy, she died of blunt force trauma to the head. Investigators said they believe they have recovered the weapon used in the slaying, but they haven't disclosed what it is.

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  • rogers922 Jan 23, 2008

    It's obvious his relatives won't turn him in and a reward doesn't seem to stimulate anyone in Mexico to turn him in, and yet, if he is found there and we extridite, he can't be given the death penalty.Wouldn't it be nice if some of this guy's marine buddies went down to Mexico, found him and transported him back to the US. It would be a step in the right direction.

  • uncw05 Jan 23, 2008

    ncmom65: the babies bones were found with the mother. NC doesn't have a fetal homicide law, so it's if the baby had been born, not if it was viable that determines charges for its death.

  • Politically Honest NOT PC Jan 23, 2008

    I think we should tell mexico that if he is there and they do not send him back to face the judg, jury and executioner, we will send them some more of our robbers,rapists,murderers and thieves and will continue to flood their country with them. After all, they are saying that they welcome that type there if they do not want to extridite them back here to stand trial.

  • ncmom65 Jan 23, 2008

    Where's the baby? At 8 months, the fetus is a viable human being, so where is the baby? If the baby died, this guy should be charged with 2 counts of murder, if the baby is alive, where the hell is it??

  • illegals--GO HOME Jan 23, 2008

    Only the guilty run like & % * *!!!!! He who has done not should fear not......