Pregnant Marine Is Dead: Sheriff

Lance corporal was scheduled to testify about sexual assault; defendant is suspect
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2008 12:23 PM CST
Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach is now thought to be dead   (WRAL.com)
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(Newser) – The pregnant Marine missing from Camp Lejune, NC, since Dec. 14 is dead, the local sheriff said today. The search is on for her body and for the suspect in the case, a fellow Marine she had accused of sexual assault, CNN reports. Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach disappeared just before she was scheduled to testify in the case; the suspect's whereabouts are unknown.

Lauterbach purchased a bus ticket to Texas the day she went missing but never used it. Her ATM card was later used by a man who covered a bank surveillance camera with a rag while he withdrew money. The missing Marine, who was about 8 months pregnant, told her mother before her disappearance that the assault probe had “gone sour.” (Read more military stories.)