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FBI: suspect in Marine's death hints at apparent flight to Mexico

JACKSONVILLE (AP) -- 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. A wide-ranging manhunt for Corporal Cesar Armando Laurean began last week, after authorities said he fled North Carolina. He left behind a note in which he admitted burying the body of Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, who had accused him of rape. Detectives later found Lauterbach's burned remains in a fire pit in his backyard. Court documents filed this week by the FBI state that Laurean told members of his Marine Corps unit he would flee to Mexico if it appeared he would be found guilty of rape. Laurean's wife also told authorities she believed he would head to Mexico if he were in trouble. 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 is also wanted in North Carolina on a state arrest warrant for murder. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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