State News

AP: Laurean not father of slain Marine's child

Posted May 15, 2009

— Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that a former Camp Lejeune Marine charged with killing a pregnant comrade wasn't the father of her unborn child.

In a report completed by the Department of Defense Armed Forces Institute of Pathology on May 7, DNA analysts concluded that former Cpl. Cesar Laurean was not the father of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach's child.

Lauterbach, 20, was about seven months pregnant when she died in late 2007. Her charred remains were found in January 2008 in a shallow grave behind Laurean's Jacksonville home.

She told Navy investigators that she was raped by Laurean in 2007, but she later recanted. Investigators couldn't corroborate her story, but they planned to proceed with a full investigation of the allegations before her disappearance in December 2007.

Camp Lejeune officials said Friday that Laurean was separated from the service Wednesday.

Base spokesman Maj. Cliff Gilmore wrote in an e-mail that the Marine Corps would not release the reason for Laurean's discharge "in accordance with the Privacy Act."

Laurean is charged with first-degree murder in Lauterbach's death.

He fled to Mexico shortly before her remains were found, leaving a note maintaining that Lauterbach had committed suicide and that he had buried her body out of fear. An autopsy report indicated that Lauterbach had been beaten to death.

Laurean was arrested in Mexico in April 2008 and was extradited to North Carolina last month. Onslow County prosecutors had to promise that they wouldn't seek the death penalty against him to ensure Mexican officials would return him to the U.S.

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  • Nikka May 20, 2009

    Maury would approve.

    There are a lot of women out there who don't know who the baby daddy is.

  • ConcernedNCC May 18, 2009

    I guess he's feeling pretty stupid for killing her, burning the body (not mentioned here, but in the original stories), and claiming she committed suicide in front of him. It's a little hard to beat yourself to death and then burn your own dead body. All he needed was a paternity test and he'd have been scott-free. What a dupe.

  • Sessy V--V May 15, 2009

    WOW.

  • Steve Crisp May 15, 2009

    Or perhaps someone else got her pregnant and she just tried to frame Laurean because that someone else was a superior officer and everything would have hit the fan. Then when the rape accusation fell apart, that third person killed her. Laurean found the beaten body and, presuming that everyone would just "know" he killed her, buried her body and took off.

    Given the way some of these political District Attorneys and police departments will make a determination, then stick with regardless of where the evidence leads, I might have even considered doing the same if I knew I was innocent.

  • bomanicous May 15, 2009

    "Wow.. that's shocking. I was convinced he was the father. I guess, he was too."

    That was my first thought too but maybe she falsely accused him. It is shocking though...

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT May 15, 2009

    "AP: Laurean not father of slain Marine's child"

    Maybe this explains what drove him to kill her.

  • downsouthtyler May 15, 2009

    ""I agree with theseus on that the military would not have used the death penalty either because even the military has to obey the treaty between the U.S. and Mexico also.""

    The US Government made a deal with Mexico NOT to persue the death penalty if Mexico Extradited him to the USA.

    Its already off the table.

  • clickclackity2 May 15, 2009

    Wow.. that's shocking. I was convinced he was the father. I guess, he was too.

  • Tarheelfan13 May 15, 2009

    I agree with theseus on that the military would not have used the death penalty either because even the military has to obey the treaty between the U.S. and Mexico also.

  • Tarheelfan13 May 15, 2009

    theseus, yes the state could prosecute him but technically as federal property the Marines could have had first prosecution rights if they wanted to especially since the victim was also federal property. That is the key. Now if it had been a civilian victim off base than that is a different story. The key is that the UCMJ extends to all active duty servicemen whether they are on post/base or not. The problem nowadays is that military authorities would rather save themselves time and effort and just discharge military members if they see the civilian authorities can lay claim to some jurisdiction.

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