Remains found confirms pregnant US Marine's death

Updated: 2008-01-12 12:02

BEIJING -- Local police found some burnt human remains which believed to be the missing pregnant Marine's in the back yard of the suspect rapist, media reported Saturday.

After some slight digging in a fire pit discovered in the yard of Marine Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean, detectives found what "appeared to be burnt human remains," Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson said Friday night.

"We think we have found what will (contain) the skeletal remains of Maria Lauterbach," Hudson said. Authorities placed a tarp and two white tents over the area and planned to begin slowly scraping the earth with garden tools Saturday morning.

Lance Cpl. Maria Frances Lauterbach, 20, vanished three weeks ago, days after she talked to military prosecutors about a rape case against Laurean, who remains at large. Authorities said Friday that information from another woman, a former Marine, left them certain that she is dead.

Before fleeing Jacksonville on Friday, Laurean gave his wife a note that said Lauterbach cut her own throat, the person said.

Laurean said in the note that he had nothing to do with her suicide, but that he had buried her body, the person said.

Lauterbach met with military prosecutors in December to discuss pursuing rape charges against Laurean, said Kevin Marks, supervisory agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service at Camp Lejeune. He said military prosecutors believed they had enough evidence to argue that the case should go to trial.

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