Laurean's Wife Waited 24 Hours Before Going to Police

JACKSONVILLE, NC. -- Court documents show that the wife of Corporal Cesar Armando Laurean waited almost 24 hours after learning of the death of one of his comrades to go to police.

The sheriff's affidavit doesn't explain why Laurean's wife waited. Police have consistently described her as a cooperating witness, and she does not face charges.

The affidavit says Laurean told his wife, Christina, a week ago that Lauterbach visited the couple's home on December 15, demanded money and told him she planned to leave the area.

He told his wife that he and Lauterbach purchased a bus ticket for her to El Paso, Texas, but that she later returned to their home and they began to argue. He claimed Lauterbach produced a knife and slit her own throat.

Also announced on Thursday, authorities investigating the death of a 20-year-old pregnant Marine near Camp Lejeune says they may have recovered the weapon used to kill her.

Onslow County sheriff's Captain Rick Sutherland says a witness gave investigators an item that could have been used to kill Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach. Sutherland would not say who gave officers the item last weekend or what it was.

An autopsy determined Lauterbach died from a blow to the head.

Authorities say the key suspect in the slaying of a 20-year-old pregnant Marine told comrades he would flee to Mexico to avoid a conviction on rape charges.

Officials say the FBI is now working with Mexican authorities to track him down.

The 21-year-old Laurean is a naturalized U.S. citizen. The documents filed by the FBI state that his family resides in Nevada, but he has ties to Mexico. Laurean's wife also told authorities she believed he would head to Mexico if he were in trouble.

Authorities announced that Maria Lauterbach told base officials that she wasn't afraid of her alleged killer. They also explained that a note left by Lauterbach along with a large ATM withdrawal led them to believe she had run away.

To read the entire opening statement from the Camp Lejeune press conference, click here.

Following investigative leads, the truck of accused murderer Corporal Cesar Laurean was in the parking lot of a Microtel Inn in Morrisville, NC. No word if Laurean was actually staying at the hotel.

Authorities also announced on Tuesday that 20-year-old Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach died from a head injury.

The finding was announced by Onslow County medical examiner Dr. Charles Garrett. The finding rejects the claims of the key suspect that Lauterbach committed suicide.

Sheriff Ed Brown says he thinks Laurean may be in hiding, but wouldn't say if he thought Laurean is in Mexico.

Federal authorities are posting billboards nationwide with the picture of a Marine wanted in the slaying of a pregnant colleague.

Authorities are looking for Corporal Cesar Laurean, wanted in the death of Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, who had accused him of rape last year.

Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown says there is a $25,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. Brown says the search is what he called "Earthwide."

Brown says federal marshal's have talked to Laurean's family, but he would not discuss what they learned.

Laurean and his wife have an 18-month-old daughter. Brown says Laurean's wife is cooperating with authorities.

Officials found Lauterbach's burned body in Laurean's back yard in Onslow County on Saturday.

Brown says detectives are still not positive that witness reports placing Laurean at a bus depot in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Saturday night were accurate.

Brown says authorities are unclear whether the man thought to be Laurean boarded a bus headed to Texas or left the station.

Laurean is described as being 5'9", 160 lbs with black hair and brown eyes.  He is driving a black 2004 quad cab Dodge pickup truck with North Carolina tags TRR1522. To the right is a picture of the truck.

With a search warrant, authorities went into Laurean's home Friday evening.  Inside the home on Meadow Trail Road, deputies found blood splattered walls and what looked like a sloppy paint job to cover it up.

A next door neighbor said he saw Laurean suspiciously take down a chunk of his wooden fence and set it on fire about two weeks ago; this was the same time Lauterbach vanished.

"The whole year and half we've been living here they've never burned anything in their backyard.  And now, there's a burn pile in the middle of the yard.  Almost 16 days ago, he borrowed my shovel and didn't tell me what it was for.  Now, the Sheriff's Department has the shovel," said neighbor Richard Alander.