State News

AP: Laurean not father of slain Marine's child

Posted May 15, 2009 3:13 p.m. EDT
Updated May 15, 2009 6:04 p.m. EDT

— 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.