State Briefs

Rewards in Marines case total $30,000

The Associated PressMarch 4, 2008 

— State and federal officials are now offering $30,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a Marine accused of murdering his pregnant colleague.

Gov. Mike Easley said Monday that the state is offering a $5,000 reward for critical information in the case against Cpl. Cesar Laurean. The FBI is offering $25,000.

Laurean is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, 20. Her body and unborn baby were found charred and buried in Laurean's backyard in January.

Investigators think Laurean fled to his native Mexico in January. He left a note claiming Lauterbach slit her throat, but an autopsy found that she died of blunt force trauma.

A spokesman for the II Marine Expeditionary Force said Monday that Laurean is considered a military deserter.

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