Cpl Cesar Laurean Arrested in Murder of Pregnant Marine Maria Lauterbach.

Cpl Cesar Laurean Arrested Marine Murder Suspect. Pregnant Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach.

Mexican authorities have arrested Cpl Laurean in the Murder of Pregnant Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach.  The death penalty has been set aside so authorities will return him to the United States to stand trial in this case. Laurean is enroute to Mexico City he is in the custady of Mexican authorities, The FBI, and NCIS (Naval Investigative Service).  He was captured at around 7:30 pm ET

First-Degree Murder, Jacksonville, NC; Dec 2007
Robbery With A Dangerous Weapon ; Dec 2007
First-Degree Car Theft ; Dec 14, 2007
Fraud ; Dec 2007
Attempted Car Fraud ; Dec 2007

Fugitive Marine Captured in Mexico

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WGHP) – Three months after he disappeared, U.S. Marine Corporal Cesar Laurean has been captured in Mexico.

Laurean is wanted in connection with the death of fellow Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach. The 20-year-old, who was eight months pregnant at the time, disappeared around December 14, 2007.

Her burned remains and that of her unborn baby were found in a shallow grave in Lauren’s backyard in Jacksonville, N.C.

FBI Special agents are awaiting extradition to bring Laurean back to Onslow County to face murder charges.


AP Top News at 10:01 p.m. EDT 12 minutes ago

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A Marine wanted in the brutal slaying of a pregnant colleague who had accused him of rape was arrested in Mexico, the FBI said late Thursday. The FBI’s office in Charlotte said special agents and Mexican authorities arrested Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, who is charged with murder in the death of Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach. The FBI did not say when or where in Mexico Laurean was arrested, but said he is awaiting extradition to the U.S.

America’s Most Wanted Cesar Laurean Case history

Pregnant Marine Murdered In North Carolina


Cops have charged Cesar Laurean with the murder of Maria Lauterbach.

View Larger

Prosecutors said they will not seek the death penalty against Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, who is suspected of killing a 20-year-old pregnant colleague — but only if he is arrested in Mexico.

A grand jury delivered an indictment against Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who had once accused him of rape. Her remains, along with the remains of her unborn child, were found in a fire pit in Laurean’s North Carolina backyard.

Authorities believe Laurean has fled to his native Mexico, which refuses to send anyone back to the United States unless they are provided with assurances they won’t face the death penalty.

“This agreement to not seek the death penalty applies only if he is arrested in and extradited from Mexico,” Onslow County, N.C. District Attorney Dewey Hudson said.

>Court Documents Detail Investigation

Earlier, a man identified as his cousin said Laurean walked into his liquor store in Guadalajara, Mexico, but left without saying where he was headed.

Hudson said the grand jury also indicted Laurean with robbery with a dangerous weapon and a charge involving an unauthorized financial transaction involving card theft.

But because authorities have determined that Maria’s child had not been born at the time of her death, Hudson said, prosecutors are only allowed under North Carolina to charge Laurean with a single count of murder.

Before Laurean fled from Jacksonville in early January, he left a note for his wife, Christina, that said Maria slit her own throat with a knife, and he then buried her in the woods near their home. Detectives have rejected that claim, and an autopsy found that Maria died of blunt force trauma to the head.

In his note, Laurean alleged that Maria committed suicide by cutting her own throat.

Pick-Up Truck Recovered


Police say Maria was set to testify against Laurean in court. Laurean is accused of sexually assaulting her.

View Larger

Authorities have said Laurean’s wife, Christina Laurean, is cooperating with authorities and provided them with the note her husband left before skipping town. In that note, he said Maria committed suicide by cutting her own throat. Authorities have rejected that claim, and autopsy results released Tuesday found she died of “traumatic head injury due to blunt force trauma.”

Autopsy reports show that there was a superficial four-inch wound to the left side of Maria’s neck, but that Laurean might have made the cut there himself after her death to corroborate his story. The medical examiner is still conducting an autopsy on Maria’s child, who Maria’s parents said was a baby boy named Gabriel Joseph, to determine the child’s paternity. Cops believe the baby died in utero. Beneath the bodies of Maria and Gabriel was a bag of baby clothes.

Maria alleged in May 2007 that Laurean had raped her in March and April of that year. A pregnancy test soon after was negative, according to Marine Corps officials, but a test in June was positive. Doctors estimated the date of conception at May 14.

Corps officials said Maria met with prosecutors in November 2007 and said she no longer believed Laurean was the father. They said her regimental commander was intent on taking the case to an Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a grand jury proceeding.

Col. Gary Sokoloski, the judge advocate general officer for the Second Marine Expeditionary Force, said that Laurean denied having any sexual contact with Lauterbach. He also did not violate a military protective order directing him to stay away from Lauterbach and continued to report for work on time in the weeks after her disappearance, he said.

“At no time did she indicate that she was threatened by Cpl. Laurean,” Sokoloski said. “When she was asked if she felt threatened by Cpl. Laurean, she said she did not feel threatened.”

Timeline Of Events


Cpl. Cesar Laurean.

View Larger

At a press conference January 15, 2008, Lt. Col. Curtis Hill — the public affairs officer of the Second Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C. — released the following timeline of events related to the disappearance and murder of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach:

May 11, 2007

Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach reports two encounters of a sexual nature with Cpl. Laurean to her supervisor. She reported that the first encounter occurred on March 26, the second about two weeks later. At that time, a pregnancy test was performed, which came back negative.

May 11

Naval Criminal Investigative Service opens rape investigation

May 12

Verbal order issued barring contact or communication between Laurean and Maria. Maria moved to another building across the base from Laurean.

May 24

Written order issued barring contact or communication between Maria and Laurean.

June 19 – June 24

Maria takes annual leave home to Ohio.

June 27

Maria goes to a doctor feeling sick. A pregnancy test was performed, which came back positive. Doctors estimate the date of conception to be May 14.

Over the summer months, Maria and Laurean each take leave time and return to the base as scheduled.

September 17

Maria requests permission to move into off-base housing to care for her baby. Her request was approved on Oct. 31.

October 18

NCIS recommends that no disciplinary action be taken until evidence can be taken from the child.

October 22

Witnesses questioned in rape investigation.

November 5

Maria moves off-base into home with Sgt. Durham, who planned to leave North Carolina in December for training in California. Maria planned to sublet the home in his absence.

The same day, a trial council re-interviews Maria, at which time she adjusts her statement to say that her pregnancy was not the result of a sexual assault.

November 26

Trial council discusses what possible charges — if any — would be filed against Laurean. Maria attends her last doctor’s appointment.

December 14

Maria reported to work. Her workday ended at noon for a Christmas party, which she did not attend. Sgt. Durham returned to their home and says he finds a note from Maria that expressed her desire to leave the Marine Corps. Sgt. Durham said her car was gone, and some personal items were taken. Marine command determined that Maria had gone U.A. Investigators find that Maria withdrew $700 from a Jacksonville, N.C. ATM, and bought a Greyhound bus ticket to El Paso.

December 19

Maria fails to report to work. Sgt. Durham gives commanders Maria’s note; command sends investigators to her house, and reports that her car and her things were gone. She’s listed as a deserter because of concern over her health.

December 19

Command calls Maria’s mother, who she says she last spoke with her daughter on Dec. 14. Maria’s mother says she doesn’t know where Maria is; her mom files a missing persons report in Ohio. Maria’s cell phone is found along Hwy 24 when a stranded motorist uses the phone to call Maria’s sister. She asked the person to turn the phone in to police.

December 24

An unidentified man withdraws $400 from Maria’s bank account at an ATM in Jacksonville, N.C.

December 26

Maria misses an appointment with her obstetrician.

January 7, 2008

NCIS finally learns about the cell phone’s discovery, the ATM withdrawals, and the Greyhound bus ticket. Up to this point, they still thought Maria was UA. Laurean is questioned as possible witness to Maria’s disappearance, but not as a suspect. Laurean asks to leave work to meet with his civilian attorneys. Command doesn’t see anything unusual with this given the status of the rape investigation.

January 8

The protective order between Laurean and Maria is reissued. It’s learned that the order of protection had lapsed between Dec. 24 and Jan, 7 due to an administrative oversight.

January 11

Laurean doesn’t report to work, and commanders are unable to get in contact with him by phone. He is presumed to be U.A. Onslow County Sheriff’s Office holds press conference announcing they believe Maria is dead and buried in Onslow County, and Laurean is considered a person of interest. Laurean’s wife gives authorities a note from Laurean stating that Maria had taken her own life. This was deemed to be impossible.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Wanted For

Information valid as of last update.

First-Degree Murder, Jacksonville, NC; Dec 2007

Robbery With A Dangerous Weapon ; Dec 2007

First-Degree Car Theft ; Dec 14, 2007

Fraud ; Dec 2007

Attempted Car Fraud ; Dec 2007

Cpl Cesar Laurean Arrested for Murder of  Pregnant Marine Maria Lauterbach. Cpl Cesar Laurean Arrested  in Murder of Pregnant Marine Maria Lauterbach. Cpl Cesar Laurean Captured Suspected in  Murder  of a Pregnant Marine

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Be the first to comment

Comment on Politisite Story