FBI: Marine wanted in pregnant colleague’s death may be in Mexico

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — The key suspect in the slaying of a 20-year-old pregnant Marine may have fled to Mexico, and the FBI is working with Mexican authorities to track him down, authorities said Wednesday.

A wide-ranging manhunt for Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean began last week, after authorities said he fled North Carolina and left behind a note in which he admitted burying the body of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, but said she committed suicide.

Detectives later found her remains, and those of her child, in Laurean’s backyard. They have rejected the suggestion she killed herself.

“We strongly suspect, but have not confirmed, that Laurean may be in Mexico,” said FBI spokesman Richard Kolko in Washington. “We have a strong working relationship with law enforcement partners in Mexico and we’re working with them to locate and apprehend him.”

Laurean appears to have mailed letters back to his wife in North Carolina, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. It was not immediately clear what the letters said or how many of them were sent, or where they were sent from.

Authorities have said his wife, Christina Laurean, is cooperating with authorities and provided them with the note her husband left before skipping town.

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