Thursday, January 10, 2008
Missing, and maybe a mom...
--Randi Kaye, 360 Correspondent

She's pregnant and missing. But how much should we worry about her?

Marine Maria Lauterbach, 20, disappeared a month ago from her base, Camp LeJeune, in North Carolina.

She could be in danger, but apparently had a few reasons to run, if that's what she did.

She was supposed to testify on base after witnessesing a crime; her mother was putting pressure on her to give up her baby (the father has yet to be identified); and she had made allegations of sexual abuse against a senior officer. She later withdrew the allegations, and may have worried about facing charges of making false statements.

We have been here in Jacksonville all day, talking to investigators and they're on the fence about whether or not she is really in danger or on the run.

She's due to give birth any day now, if she hasn't already.

Her mom says she is bipolar and the military says she has a history of compulsive lying.

Her cellphone was found December 20th right outside the base, her car was discovered this week but had been parked at a nearby restaurant next to the bus station since December 15th, according to the sheriff.

And now Sheriff Ed Brown has demanded the return of a Marine sergeant from California back to North Carolina so he can interview him again. He's a key witness in the case, not a suspect. Sgt. Daniel Durham is the missing marine's roommate and investigators have looked at his laptop. The Sheriff says some of his statements don't match up and he "wants to look him in the eye again."

Also, the sheriff told me he has surveillance tape of a man -- he wouldn't say who --withdrawing money from Lauterbach's bank account 10 days after she disappeared on Christmas Eve.

The sheriff is promising we'll have answers "real soon."

Which way does it sound to you like this might go?

And if she is alive and well, which we all hope, what should happen next?
Posted By CNN: 9:54 PM ET
  2 Comments
the piece of the puzzle that's missing is that her family and friends didn't miss her on Christmas or report her missing til now - that's just sad
Posted By Anonymous diane - providence ri. : 10:57 PM ET
This one could go both ways so easily - she could have run or she could be in trouble with the perpetrator thinking her mental and psychological history will make everyone think she ran.

I hope she's alive. We need to find her or determine if she's still alive. If she is off her medications then she could easily be a danger to herself and her unborn baby.

I'm not sure what should happen if she is alive and well - a lot of complications in this especially if she is bipolar. I hope whatever happens that she is alive, well, her baby alive and well, and that people treat her with compassion - right after having a baby she'll need all the support she can get.

Annie Kate
Birmingham AL
Posted By Blogger Annie Kate : 11:04 PM ET
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