Cesar Laurean accused of killing colleague

Raluca Coman

Written by Raluca Coman
Posted in: Featured, U.S. News
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Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean has been accused of killing his pregnant colleague, Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, of raping her and of being the father of the unborn baby that she carried.
The investigators say that they do not have any evidence that Laurean killed his colleague, and he denied having sexual relations with her. Laurean will go on trial in Goldsboro and will have to explain why Lauterbach burnt remains were found in a fire pit behind his house. On the day she was killed, Lauterbach showed up at Laurean’s house and asked him for money after she bought a bus ticket to El Paso, Texas, telling him that she was leaving North Carolina and she needed cash. Laurean says that they argued and she cut her own throat with a knife that she had in her purse, but the autopsy on her body showed that she died after she was hit in the head, and there was blood found in his house on the ceiling and on the walls too, which led the investigators to believe that there was a serious confrontation. Because of the discussion and the publicity around this case, the lawyers decided to move the case from Jacksonville, because all the information and the fuss related to the story was believed to influence jurors. Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson says that the case is a very complicated one because he is struggling to bring back to the United States some Marines which are engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan combat, because they have to testify.

Lauterbach and Laurean used to work together as personnel clerks in a combat logistics regiment at Camp Lejeune. Marine investigators never accused Laurean of raping his colleague, and DNA samples taken both from him and her unborn child proved that he was not the father. Before her alleged leaving for Texas, Lauterbach left a note for her roommate saying that she was tired of the Marine Corps lifestyle and that she was looking for a fresh start. The Onslow County authorities were alerted a few days after by the victims’ family, but they thought at first that she left home, based on the note found at her previous address and on the fact that she left with all her luggage. But Laurean’s wife, Christina, gave the police a note in which her husband claimed that she had killed herself and that he buried her in the back of the house. Laurean was already gone for Mexico when Lauterbach’s remains were found by the police, and the next three months he was under international search and then arrested in western Mexico and extradited. He will face life in prison if he is found guilty.11

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