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Authorities search for missing pregnant NC-based Marine

JACKSONVILLE (AP) -- The Onslow County Sheriff's Department is investigating the disappearance of a pregnant Marine based at Camp Lejeune who's been missing since before Christmas. Authorities say 20-year-old Maria Frances Lauterbach was reported missing Dec. 19 by her mother, who was the last person to speak with her, on Dec. 13. Her cell phone was found Dec. 20 near the main gate at Camp Lejeune. She is with the 2nd Marine Logistics Group and is about eight months pregnant. The sheriff's department said Lauterbach's mother reported that her daughter was supposed to testify about an incident she witnessed on base. The sheriff's department says several items found in the investigation lead it to be concerned about the circumstances surrounding the woman's disappearance. The State Bureau of Investigation also is working on the case. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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