Today, Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown announced he won't be talking to the media anymore, until Corporal Cesar Laurean is caught.
Laurean is the U.S. Marine charged in the brutal murder of fellow Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child.
He's been on the run since last Friday. Police believe they recovered Lauterbach's charred remains in a fire pit behind Laurean's home over the weekend along with those of her baby.
Sheriff Brown has been holding press conferences daily and doing one-on-one interviews with local and national media.
Now he says it's time to get back to work and we shouldn't expect a word from him until Laurean is behind bars.
I've never heard of holding a press conference to
announce you're NOT going to hold press conferences anymore. But nothing in this case has been business as usual.
The Marines knew Maria Lauterbach had accused Cesar Laurean of rape and didn't give the Sheriff his name until January 7th, TWENTY days after she disappeared.
The Marines knew Laurean was forbidden to go near Lauterbach. A military protective order was issued in June 2007. It had expired in September 2007, but the Marines never even told Sheriff Brown about it. He told me he wasn't aware of it until last weekend when his deputies found the paperwork in Lauterbach's car.
Can you imagine?
Turns out there is no protocol in place for the Marines when it comes to sharing information with civil law enforcement.
The Onslow County Sheriff's Department was the lead investigating agency on this case. The Marines didn't have to tell them everything. But they certainly could have.
Would it have saved Lauterbach's life? Tough to say. But it certainly may have prevented this massive manhunt for the key suspect living just a few miles away from the Sheriff's Department this whole time.
Sheriff Brown, no doubt, is frustrated. Last night he said he hadn't realized how many times his investigators had been rebuffed when they tried to talk to the Marines about the Lauterbach case, until he read the full report. So if I were him, I'd probably keep quiet for a while, too...