The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein



Thursday, January 10, 2008

Maria Frances Lauterbach

*update below*
I have some family members who were at one point stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C, although despite the best intentions I never made it there to visit during my many trips to NC over the years. Of course, their ongoing connections to the base, and the fact that it's the last station they called 'home', triggered their interest in an current case going on there, which then lead to mine. Sadly, I have to admit that it was one I'd missed over the last few days while catching up on other things and avoiding the news networks like the plague. But, I'm glad they mentioned it, as it's turned out to be something I felt was worth writing about.


Maria Frances Lauterbach, a personnel clerk assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, was reported missing by her mother in late December, after she failed to have contact. The last time her mother had spoken to her was on December 13. Maria is pregnant and expecting the child any day now, making the situation even more worrisome. The 20 year old's phone was found near the gates of the Camp Lejeune, and authorities are reviewing "suspicious activity" that appeared on her bank records around a week after she was discovered to be missing.

“Bank records indicate the victim made a withdrawal on 12-14-07. There was suspicious activity on her account on 12-24-07, but none since,” according to information from the Sheriff’s Department.
[...]

Investigators are calling her disappearance suspicious, saying her mother reported that Lauterbach was going to testify about an incident she witnessed on base.



More information from Fox indicates that Maria was concerned for her safety and career around the disappearance.

Documents show that her stepmother told investigators about the assault, and that her career was threatened.

Maria allegedly had been assaulted by a superior officer.

A report from WRAL.com indicates that she 'had been the victim of an on-base crime and was scheduled to testify in the case, but he declined to provide details of the case'.

*UPDATE*
At a press conference earlier today, police investigating the disappearance have disclosed that they believe the 20 year old Marine is dead, and has been buried in a shallow grave near the place she was killed. The main suspect in the case is now Cpl. Cesar Armando Lauren, who also happens to be the accused senior officer Maria told investigators sexually assaulted her.
Lauren is driving a black quad cab 2004 Dodge pickup with North Carolina tags.

A witness came forward to tell authorities where Lauterbach’s body was buried, Brown said. Brown wouldn't comment on cause of death.
Fox News.


Thanks to an old friend... the suspect's myspace.