Marine Murder Suspect Spotted

 ***UPDATE 1:44 PM 1/13/08***

Authorities say double murder suspect Cesar Armando Laurean was spotted heading through Louisiana toward Texas.  Police are less than 2 hours behind the suspect. From FoxNews.com:

Marine Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean was seen getting on or off a Greyhound bus in Shreveport, La., Saturday night, said Shreveport police Chief Henry Whitehorn Sr.

“We’re working with the U.S. Marshal’s Service and other law enforcement agencies trying to locate him,” Whitehorn told The Associated Press. “We don’t know if he is still in the area. We believe it may have just been a pass through. We received information he may be headed into Texas.”

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SuspectA new development in a story out of North Carolina that I’ve been following since Wednesday.  Someone spotted the Marine suspected of murdering the 8.5 month pregnant Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach.

The sighting occured last night (Saturday), but police give “2 or 3 states away” from North Carolina as the only location.

If you see Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean, suspected of raping Lauterbach 9 months ago and murdering her about December 14, 2007, please contact the FBI.

Brown would not say specifically where Laurean was spotted, only describing it as a “transit” sighting. He declined to say whether Laurean was still in the black four-door pickup truck in which they believe he skipped town.

Brown said the FBI, federal Marshals, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation are hunting for Laurean. Sheriff’s investigators at the scene are spending much of their time on developing evidence in the investigation, he said.Laurean's Getaway Truck

“While finding him is a main concern, the major concern is that we continue the investigation to clearly find the truth in what happened,” he said. (source)

Also, Lauterbach’s mother and others have accused the Marine Corps of failing to act on the rape charge.  These statements led me to post in my original blog that rape charges Lauterbach filed against a fellow Marine had been dropped.  According to the AP (via FoxNews), those reports were incorrect.  The Marines were pursuing the case:

But Paul Chiccarelli, the special agent in charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service at Camp Lejeune, told The Associated Press that Marine commanders submitted requests in October to send the case to the military’s version of a grand jury. A military protective order had been automatically issued in May and renewed three times.

The blog Birth Pangs writes a pretty good summary of the media’s rush to declare Maria Lauterbach a nut.  The writer details interesting facts about the case, including CNN’s rather callous treatment of Lauterbach.

Strange how a decision made by an unmarried Marine corporal to carry a pregnancy to term, to report to officials that she had been sexually assaulted, and to continue to fulfill her military duties in spite of the harassment she suffered, was not awarded the tacit approval nor the level of respect that CNN bestowed upon an unmarried TV starlet. Their news items about Cpl Lauterbach did not acknowledge that she took great responsibility for her condition. In fact, one might wonder that they were being coached by the three lawyers for her alleged rapist, by casting suspicion upon her mental health and her credibility.

Bang!  I must say, though, I am guilty of repeating the news of Lauterbach’s reported instability.  I can honestly say, though, that the mother’s words gave me some hope that Lauterbach, overwhelmed by her situation and lack of support from her mother (who wanted her to put the baby up for adoption or terminate the pregnancy) drove the young lady to flee.  While I’m not a major news network, it’s possible that CNN’s editors carried the same hope.  When the story first broke, I feared that Lauterbach, like so many other young women who go missing, was already dead.  Sadly, tragically, I was right.

Many of us, I’m sure, now wish that there had been no rape, that Lauterbach was, indeed, a compulsive liar, and that she had gone on unauthorized absence from the Marines.  Since that’s not the case, I wish I’d never written that her mother called her a liar.