2008-01-16 / Front Page

Marine who raped & burned a fellow Marine may have passed through the valley

He reportedly picked up money in Premont

Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean A U.S. Marine Corps corporal who allegedly raped a pregnant fellow Marine, and then reportedly burned her to death, was reportedly seen in Premont over the weekend, and is presumably heading towards Mexico.

Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean, 21, of Camp Lejune, N.C., has been charged with murder and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, in the death of 20-year-old Marine, Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, both assigned to Camp Lejune.

Lauterbach, who was reportedly carrying Laurean's baby, after she was allegedly raped by him, was due to testify before a military tribunal in mid-December about the rape incident, and disappeared shortly before the hearing, according to a feature story by CNN.

A Chronicle/News reader heard that Laurean was in Premont on Saturday while reportedly picking up a money gram at a local grocery store.

The manager of the West Model Market confirmed that two of the store's clerks were interviewed by the FBI on Monday. The FBI has now offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Laurean.

Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach The Marine reportedly asked for directions to Mexico, and may be passing, or may have already passed through the Rio Grande Valley via U.S. Hwy. 281 to Progresso, or U.S. Hwy. 77 to Matamoros.

Laurean, who is married, is from Nevada, and has been on the run since Friday, when he left Duram, N.C. in a black Dodge pickup that was found yesterday in N.C. He is believed to be travelling by bus.

His wife gave the Onslow County Sheriff's Office a note written by her husband, which claimed that Lauterbach committed suicide, and that he had buried her in his back yard.

The charred remains of Lauterbach, and her unborn 8-month old baby, was found in a shallow pit in Laurean's backyard by investigators on Saturday, according to the CNN story.

Cpl. Laurean is 5-foot, 9-inches tall, weighs 160-pounds, and has a tatoo of a skull on one of his upper arms. He is considered to be armed and very dangerous.

Capt Rick Sutherland with the Onslow County Sheriff's Department said that Laurean is still at large. Readers who see him are asked to immediately call the his department at 910- 455-3113 or the FBI at 800- CALLFBI.

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