New Pictures Of Cesar Laurean

New pictures of Marine Cesar Laurean have been released in hopes they'll help track down the man authorities suspect killed pregnant Marine Maria Lauterbach and her unborn baby.

The Onslow County Sheriff's Office, working with America's Most Wanted, prepared a still image they believe to be Laurean using Lauterbach's ATM card on December 24th.

The sheriff's office also released another picture showing Laurean not in uniform.

The sheriff's office says video of Laurean using the ATM will be featured on America's Most Wanted.

Scroll to the end of this story to view photo gallery

Investigators Say Laurean's Wife Not Home During Murder

Onslow County investigators say they do not believe the wife of murder suspect Cesar Laurean was home when Maria Lauterbach was killed.

Yesterday WITN obtained court documents that claim Christina Laurean knew about Lauterbach's death a day before she went to police.

Investigators say the pregnant Marine was killed on December 14th.

Laurean's wife went to the sheriff's department on the morning of January 11th with information that led authorities to Lauterbach's body.

Captain Rick Sutherland this morning briefed reporters on the search for Cpl. Laurean and progress on the case.

Sutherland says they are looking into whether Laurean has had accomplices in the murder or in his escape. The FBI believes the Marine corporal is possibly in Mexico.

The sheriff's office says there is no new information today on the whereabouts of Laurean.

Cell Phone Search Warrants

Court documents obtained by WITN say the wife of suspect Cesar Laurean knew about Maria Lauterbach's murder the day before she went to the authorities.

Those documents are search warrants for cellular phone records belonging to Cesar Laurean, his wife, mother and sister.

There is an affidavit attached to the search warrants, based on an interview with Laurean's wife conducted by a detective with the Onslow County Sheriff's Office.

To view the documents online, click the link above

The affidavit states Cesar Laurean's wife, Christina, said her husband was accused of rape in May 2007, and that her husband told her he did not do it.

Christina said she found in July 2007 that Lauterbach was pregnant. Christina said her husband claimed he was not the father of the baby, that he did not know what was next with the case but that he had retained legal counsel.

The affidavit states Laurean's wife said she and her husband went to an attorney's office on the morning of January 10, and while on the way, her husband asked her "If she was with him on this." She says she told him "I don't know. Is there anything you have not told me?"

Christina Laurean said her husband told her that on December 15, Maria Lauterbach visited their home and told Cesar she was planning to leave the area. Laurean's wife said her husband claimed Lauterbach demanded money, and he went to the bus station with Lauterbach and helped her buy a bus ticket.

Laurean's wife said her husband told her Lauterbach came back to their home on the evening of December 15, told Laurean that her plan had failed and an argument ensued. Laurean's wife said her husband claimed Lauterbach was disoriented, agitated and acted differently, then Lauterbach produced a knife and killed herself by slitting her throat.

Laurean's wife said her husband told her he became scared, so he took Lauterbach's body to a wooded area adjacent to his home and buried her.

Laurean's wife said at 4 a.m. on January 11, Cesar left home and she has not seen him since. She turned in a note reportedly from her husband to the Sheriff's Office.

Sergeant Theodore Cavanaugh with the Onslow County Sheriff's Office said "based on training and experience, I do not believe Maria Lauterbach committed suicide. I base my conclusion on the totality of the facts and circumstances listed above, and the fact she was pregnant and expressed a desire to keep her unborn child."

An autopsy confirmed earlier this week that remains taken from Laurean's backyard fire pit were that of 20-year-old Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach. The Camp Lejeune Marine was eight-and-a-half months pregnant when she was last heard from December 14. Officials originally said they believed she was murdered on December 15. This morning, they told WITN News they now believe she was killed on December 14.

The cause of her death is listed as blunt force trauma to the head.

A $25,000 reward is being offered in the search for suspect Cesar Laurean, who lawmen believe may be in Mexico.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Mindy Location: Birmingham, AL on Feb 7, 2008 at 11:58 AM
    In AL (should be along the same lines as NC) armed robbery would be holding a gun or weapon while robbing the person. The catch is that it has to be a DEADLY weapon that the person knows will likely inflict severe bodily injury or death. A good DA can get a conviction for armed robbery with ANY weapon used. The law does not define a dangerous weapon other than saying "one that could inflict serious bodily injury or death." It seems to me that a good defense lawyer would argue that it was not armed robbery in Laurean's case because she was dead before he took the money. The difference here would be that armed robbery is a higher rated felony than robbery. But, murder would negate any sentencing break he would get from a lesser felony. Also, they can charge him with the armed robbery and get a lesser included offense (like robbery) if the jury is given instructions to do this. This means if you can't prove armed robbery, you CAN get robbery. Has anyone found pics of Christina Laurean?
  • by jw Location: nc on Jan 28, 2008 at 10:41 AM
    yes, i am siding with everyone questioning the wife, too many acts of unknowing on her part is a little obvious to me...let's question her..little jealous rage? would this have been his 1st child? or did they have children together? i have a feeling she didn't like the circumstance of him having a child getting ready to be born...really think about it...
  • by Debi Location: Indianapolis IN on Jan 27, 2008 at 06:02 AM
    Are there any legal experts who can explain the difference in the charge of 'robbery' ,'armed robbery' and 'robbery with a dangerous weapon'? Is it defined different ,dependendent on the jurisdiction the crime occurred? I found out that Carol is right ;in this case the charge in the indictment against Laurean ,robbery with a dangerous weapon' stems from robbing Lauterbach's dead body of cash. I would have thought that would be just a separate case of 'robbery' ,aside from the murder charge and other fraud charges. Any legal knowledge and input from experts would be appreciated to help me understand. Thanks!
  • by Carol on Jan 27, 2008 at 05:53 AM
    Jacksonville Daily News said the armed robbery stems from him taking the money off of her when he killed her. As far as I'm understanding.
  • by Debi Location: Indianapolis In on Jan 27, 2008 at 05:51 AM
    Carol is right about the charge of 'robbery with a dangerous weapon' that was part of the indictment against Laurean ;investigators believe Laurean robbed her dead body of the cash. That is where the robbery with a dangerous weapon charge and subsequent indictment stems from, authorities said. =======Personally I'm confused about that charge in this case ,because I thought once the person(victim) is murdered it would just be a separate case of 'robbery' aside from the charge of murder. If there's an attorney out there that could explain how they differentiate the charges of 'robbery' ,'armed robbery' ,'robbery with a dangerous weapon' ,etc. I'd really appreciate your insight and knowledge...Thanks! PS. Are these different types of robbery charges and how they are defined ,dependent on where the jurisdiction is?
  • by Debi Location: Indianapolis on Jan 26, 2008 at 12:44 PM
    Just found out the authorities have not said Maria was 'forced' to take out money on Dec14 ,and that it was a 'misreporting'. Now I'm not sure what exactly the 'armed robbery' charge would be for. Could be they think he forced her to give him the ATM pin# or another idea I had was ,maybe they think he forced her to the bus station to buy that El Paso bus ticket ,under threat of violence in either case ,of course. Carol and/or Lori...what do you think about what that charge of 'armed robbery' would be for? Thanks for any of your ideas or input about that ,in advance.
  • by Carol Location: Jax on Jan 26, 2008 at 08:54 AM
    Lori, the Jacksonville News reported that the armed robbery was misreported. Maria withdrew the money. When she was killed, he took that money. So I don't think he forced her to take the money out of the ATM but he took it from her when she was killed. That is the armed robbery charge. I just read the article on their site where they said it was misreported.
  • by Lori Location: Belleville, NJ on Jan 25, 2008 at 02:40 PM
    Carol, Ok, so that makes things clearer that he's being charged with armed robbery. I went to the AMW site to check out all the charges. First-Degree Murder, Jacksonville, NC; Dec 2007 Robbery With A Dangerous Weapon ; Dec 2007 First-Degree Car Theft ; Dec 14, 2007 Fraud ; Dec 2007 Attempted Car Fraud ; Dec 2007 ....................... Yes, you're right , if he loved his family he wouldn't have done this, but you know his wife is probably still sticking up for him. I figured if they arrested her and it didn't flush him out , she'd get really mad and sing like a canary. I guess the investigators know how this all played out and aren't saying anything else.
  • by KRISTY Location: NC on Jan 25, 2008 at 12:24 PM
    I THINK THAT SOME HELPED HIM ALSO. I ARGREE WITH YALL. HE HAD TO HAVE HAD SOME KIND OF HELP. I THINK HIS WIFE KNEW A LITTLE SOMETHING ABOUT IT THOUGH.
  • by Carol Location: Jax on Jan 25, 2008 at 09:05 AM
    Lori, he was indicted for armed robbery. So, it was Maria at the ATM but I guess she did it against her will and so he is being charged for that. As for him acting alone...part of me believes he had help, but then part of me beleives he didn't. Who knows though right? I don't think using his wife or child would flush him out. If he loved either one of them, he never would have done this to begin with. Obviously he wasn't thinking about either one of them. But, that's just my opinion.
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