A Marine is undergoing a court-martial at Camp Pendleton after he allegedly faked his own disappearance to avoid returning to his unit.

Base spokesman 1st Lt. Tom Garnett said Friday 23-year-old Lance Cpl. Lance Hering, of Boulder, Colo., is charged with a single count of unauthorized absence.

He is undergoing a so-called summary court-martial, which means the case will be weighed by an officer and not by jurors.

Hering disappeared in August 2006 when a friend reported he wandered away after a rock-climbing accident west of Boulder.

The friend later admitted the disappearance was a hoax.

If convicted, the officer could sentence Hering to a variety of punishments including up to 30 days in the brig, 45 days of hard labor or reduction in rank.