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Affidavit: Suspect's wife at party the night of Marine's death

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Woman says husband didn't show up at a party on suspected date of killing
  • NEW: DNA testing under way to see if Cesar Laurean fathered the victim's child
  • Accused Marine and his wife spoke to lawyer after pregnant Marine slain
  • Marine fled the next day, is believed to have headed to native Mexico
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JACKSONVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) -- Christina Laurean has told authorities she was attending a Christmas party on the night her husband allegedly killed pregnant Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, according to police.


Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, wanted for murder, may have fled to his native Mexico.

Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean is charged with first-degree murder. He remains at large, and authorities say he may have fled to Mexico.

Also, an affidavit obtained Thursday by CNN states that Christina Laurean knew about the death one day before reporting it to authorities.

The Marines were assigned to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach was eight months pregnant when she was reported missing December 19. Authorities say she was killed four days earlier.

A warrant allowed authorities to search Western Union records.

Authorities said in the accompanying affidavit that Cesar Laurean and his wife received a transfer of money between December 10 and January 12. The affidavit provided no other details.

Authorities requested the search warrant and all accompanying documents be sealed.

The FBI says Laurean may have fled to his native country of Mexico. Cesar Laurean, 21, is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

He mailed at least one letter from Houston, Texas, since his disappearance, CNN affiliate KPRC in Houston reported Thursday.

According to the affidavit, Christina Laurean, 25 -- who also is a Marine -- went with her husband to a Jacksonville attorney on January 10, and the lawyer told Cesar Laurean he could face the death penalty.

The next day, Christina Laurean reported Lauterbach's death to the Onslow County Sheriff's Office, where she appeared with an attorney and a sergeant from her former chain of command.

She turned over to deputies several notes from her husband that she said she found at their home. In the notes, Cesar Laurean said Lauterbach committed suicide and he buried her.

Lauterbach, 20, had accused Cesar Laurean of raping her and was to testify at a military hearing not long after her disappearance.

According to a co-worker, she feared Cesar Laurean, although the military said she told prosecutors she did not. Lauterbach's allegations involved two encounters -- one on or about March 26 and one approximately two weeks later, the Marines told CNN.

Lauterbach received two protective orders, one of which was in effect when she died.

Christina Laurean on January 11 told authorities her husband had denied the rape allegations and said he was not the baby's father, according to the affidavit.

In the document she says her husband told her:

  • Lauterbach showed up at their home on December 15, and told him she was planning to leave the area. "Maria Lauterbach was disoriented, agitated and acting differently."
  • Lauterbach demanded money, and Cesar Laurean went with her to the bus station to buy a ticket, which authorities say was never used.
  • Lauterbach returned to the Laurean home, told him her plan had failed and they began arguing.
  • Lauterbach "produced a knife and killed herself by slitting her throat."
  • "He became scared, took her body to a wooded area adjacent to his residence and buried her."
  • Dubois contends the facts show probable cause exists to show that Cesar Laurean "committed murder." The detective said he doesn't believe Lauterbach committed suicide, especially because she had told people she wanted the child.

    Christina Laurean told police she was at a Christmas party for her husband's Marine unit during the late afternoon and evening of December 15, Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown told CNN. Her husband did not attend the party, she told authorities.

    Lauterbach's charred remains and those believed to be of her unborn child were found in a fire pit in the Laureans' backyard.

    Police have said blood spatters were found throughout the Laurean home on walls and ceilings, and evidence showed someone tried to clean them up and paint over them.

    DNA testing is being conducted to see if Lauterbach's unborn baby was fathered by Cesar Laurean, Brown said, adding there was no rush on the part of detectives to get those results.

    The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to Cesar Laurean's arrest. Anyone in Mexico with information is asked to contact the legal attache at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.


    Meanwhile, authorities have discovered the weapon likely used to kill Lauterbach, a spokesman for the Onslow County Sheriff's Office said Thursday. Authorities have said the woman died of blunt force trauma to the head.

    A man who had rented a room to Lauterbach, Sgt. Daniel Durham, told investigators he found a note from her December 14 -- the day she was last seen -- saying she was tired of the Marine Corps life and was leaving. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

    CNN's Rusty Dornin contributed to this report.

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