Pregnant Marine Died of 'Injury,' Sheriff Says

Police continue search for body; presumed killer still on the run
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2008 5:19 PM CST
Paul Ciccarelli, right, a special agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service at Camp Lejeune, listens to reporters questions during a news conference at the Sheriff's Department in Jacksonville,...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, the pregnant Marine missing since Dec. 19 and declared to be dead this morning, apparently died of an "injury," though North Carolina investigators have yet to locate her body or the place where she is thought to be buried. The search for lead suspect Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean, whom Lauterbach had accused of rape, is still on, CNN reports.

Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown was emotional today as he addressed the press: "These cases, investigations, become personal. I just want to cry," he said. "At this point, I'm down, way down." Brown also said that Lauterbach and Laurean maintained "some sort of friendly relationship" after her formal rape accusation, which is why the now missing suspect was not taken into custody immediately. (Read more Maria Lauterbach stories.)