Local News

Autopsy: Pregnant Marine's Neck Cut After Death

Posted March 17, 2008 7:14 p.m. EDT

— A pregnant Camp Lejeune Marine who was slain three months ago had a cut on her neck that was made after she died, according to an autopsy.

Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach was killed in mid-December. Her charred remains were found in January in the back yard of fellow Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean.

Laurean has been charged with murder in her death but remains at large. He left Onslow County hours before Lauterbach's remains were discovered, and state and federal authorities believe he fled to Mexico.

The autopsy confirmed that Lauterbach was killed by a blow to her head and that her neck was subsequently cut.

In a note delivered to Onslow County authorities by Laurean's wife, the fugitive Marine claimed that Lauterbach had cut her own throat and that he had buried her body out of fear.

The autopsy also said that the remains were too badly charred to determine the gender of Lauterbach's unborn child and noted that a bag of baby clothes was buried with her.