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Wife of Marine wanted in slaying knew of woman's death

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JACKSONVILLE (AP) -- 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. Authorities say Laurean is the prime suspect in the violent death of Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, whose body was found buried in Laurean's backyard. She was eight months pregnant and had accused Laurean of rape. He had denied the charge to military investigators. 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. An autopsy determined Lauterbach died of blunt force trauma to the head. Authorities have said they don't believe she committed suicide. Witness finds possible murder weapon in pregnant Marine's death 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. Lauterbach disappeared in December, not long after she met with military prosecutors to talk about her April allegation that Corporal Cesar Laurean raped her. Authorities say Laurean fled the area last week. Her body was found in a fire pit behind his home. Authorities think Laurean may have gone to Mexico. For a full description of the suspect, see the FBI's wanted poster for Laurean HERE. Lauterbach had accused Laurean of rape. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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