Published January 25, 2017
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," January 11, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Police are looking for Cesar Laurean. He's wanted in connection with the disappearance and suspected murder of Maria Lauterbach.
And Onslow County sheriff Ed Brown joins us live in North Carolina. Sheriff, any idea where Cesar Laurean is headed?
SHERIFF ED BROWN, ONSLOW COUNTY, NC: Greta, I have no clue where he's headed. As I said before, I believe he's gotten out of Dodge and he got out of here quick. But I believe he's watching your show, and if he is, I suggest to him that he turn himself in voluntarily, because if he doesn't, we're coming.
VAN SUSTEREN: Sheriff, you suspect that he is watching this show tonight, so I guess the best thing is, why don't we send him the message? Where should he call to make this real easy for everybody?
BROWN: He can call the Onslow County sheriff's office at 910-455-3113. And I'm going to be brave and tell him he can call my cell phone at 910-340-6200. It's best that he call us, rather than we call him.
VAN SUSTEREN: And I take it that if he makes that phone call tonight, you will assure that you will take him in a responsible and safe manner, so that he can go through the criminal justice system or being interrogated, or whatever, that he will be safe through that system, right, that that's the way to do it.
BROWN: Regardless of what he's done, we treat all people that we arrest humane and decent.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So Cesar Laurean, if you are watching, this is the time to make the call. Sheriff, do you know if he has any money?
BROWN: Do I know if he had any money?
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, because he's — I mean, if he's on the road, he's got to survive. Do you know if he has any money?
BROWN: I don't know about his financial standings. I feel sure that Mr. Laurean probably has sources that will provide him with funding, if he needs it. I think there's probably sources that Mr. Laurean has that will provide him with good advice. And that good advice will be, Son, turn yourself in.
VAN SUSTEREN: What about the vehicle that he is likely to be driving or in? Do you know what that — can you describe that vehicle?
BROWN: That is a 2004 quad cab Dodge truck. It's black in color. And it's registered by tag Tom Robert Robert — that's TRR — 1522.
VAN SUSTEREN: And that's a North Carolina tag?
BROWN: That's a North Carolina tag, yes, ma'am.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, does his wife live — did he and his wife live in this house together, which is now the subject of this investigation?
BROWN: All indications are they share that residence together as man and wife, or man and woman.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have any clue as to when — I guess the last time Maria Lauterbach was seen was December 14. Do you have any idea when you think that she was inside that house and this crime may have occurred?
BROWN: There are strong indications that after she talked to her mother on the 14th, that this crime could have occurred within the next couple of days.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know if Laurean's wife was home at that time?
BROWN: I don't know anything about where she was at, at the time.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is she cooperating? Is she speaking to you?
BROWN: She is cooperating fully. I spoke with her today. She is cooperating fully.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know if he — I mean, I take it he hasn't made any effort to contact her today.
BROWN: I do not know. We've been focusing strong on locating the body of Mrs. Lauterbach and getting the evidence that we feel is important so we can keep you all informed, so you can keep the public informed.
VAN SUSTEREN: Sheriff, in the backyard is where your attention is also focused, besides inside the house, this rather gruesome scene inside the house. There's an even more gruesome scene outside the house, is there not, sir?
BROWN: Yes. Greta, I really think one of the tomorrow major reports will be answering the question of the child that the missing female was carrying, that she was nearly to delivery date. And now I think the breaking thing, or the information tomorrow will develop, Where is that child or what happened to the child?
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have any reason to believe that that child is not buried or the remains that you found don't include both mother and child?
BROWN: Greta, I'm not one to believe something I can't prove. And tomorrow, I feel like when you ask that question again, I can have you a valid answer, which I deal with in any investigation.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there more than one remains site, or at least does it appear there's more than one remain site in that backyard?
BROWN: At the present time, it appears to be one location. Again, I said tomorrow, as the body is uncovered, or the remains are uncovered, I think it will answer questions that probably a lot of your listening audience wants to know, and that is what about the child. And I think what about the child will be addressed tomorrow with some valid information.
VAN SUSTEREN: Sheriff, it says — I mean, it's being reported that Mr. Laurean left a note for his wife saying that Maria Lauterbach cut her own throat. Now, frankly, I don't believe that. Nonetheless, I — you know, I believe that the note exists. Do you know where that note was left in the house? Why wasn't the wife told? I mean, did he get up before she got up? Do you know the circumstances behind this note?
BROWN: OK, you've asked me several questions, and I'll try to answer you...
VAN SUSTEREN: All right.
BROWN: ... a couple of them. Mr. Laurean did leave a note. Mr. Laurean downplayed his role in this. He placed himself as a good Samaritan, burying the lady after she's supposed to have took her own life. However, I believe the investigation up to this point would indicate that Mr. Laurean was not a good Samaritan and that he is responsible for her death.
VAN SUSTEREN: Sheriff, before I go — and you said at the outset of this, your discussion with me, that you thought Mr. Laurean would be watching tonight's show as we cover this, and you urged him to make things real easy on him and everybody else, to call the police and surrender. Do you want to once again — I don't want to give out your cell phone, unless you want to give out your cell phone. But give it out again in case he is watching, so that he can call you because that would be the wise thing to do?
BROWN: I appreciate you giving me this opportunity. Again, these investigations are personal, and it's important enough that I can run the risk of getting my cell phone in too many places. But in this case, 910-340-6200.
VAN SUSTEREN: Sheriff, thank you, and I hope you get a phone call really soon because I think that he's going to get caught, so he might as well make it real easy so that no one's hurt. Thank you, sir.
BROWN: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Former LAPD homicide detective Mark Fuhrman is on the ground in North Carolina. Mark, I know you've arrived several hours ago in North Carolina. What you can tell us about this — I guess the remains is particularly significant. Lots of clues there.
Mark, I think we got to fix your audio for a second. So while we're fixing your audio, let me bring the viewers up to date, and let me send the message out to Cesar Laurean on behalf of the sheriff. Cesar Laurean, if you're watching this, the sheriff has asked that you make a phone call to him to turn yourself in. They are looking for you.
And if anyone is out there looking — if you happen to see a 2004 quad cab truck, black, North Carolina license plate TRR-1522, call the police immediately. Do not approach this man, Cesar Laurean. He is wanted in connection with the death of Maria Lauterbach, who is — or who was 8-and- a-half months pregnant, unless, of course, she hasn't been murdered and that this is a mistake. But everyone seems to believe that she is buried in the backyard of her senior officer, Cesar Laurean.
Let's go back to Mark. Mark, the backyard, the remains — there's the clues, right?
MARK FUHRMAN, FMR LAPD HOMICIDE DETECTIVE, FOX ANALYST: Well, the best clue is, is, you know, you find the body. And of course, that is where the center of the investigation starts. But you have multiple jurisdictions here. You have the Marine Corps base and you have Onslow County here. So an important piece of this puzzle is just that. With going in the house, and the sheriff told me that there was signs of a violent encounter, and there are blood spatter experts in that house now, trying to disseminate just exactly what they mean. And of course, that could mean cast off from a blunt object, a sharp instrument. It could be high-velocity blood spatter from a firearm. It could be many things, including drag marks and attempted clean-up, as we heard the sheriff say.
So this is important that now that they have a crime scene location, they know they have jurisdiction. And now they have a location where the victim's body most probably is. And I really hesitate to say this, but when you're in a fire pit and that is the method of disposal, sometimes there is more than just the act of homicide. There sometimes is dismemberment.
VAN SUSTEREN: Mark, I mean, I can only think this poor wife. I mean, I assume that she had nothing to do with the scene inside her house or the scene outside. There's this note saying that Lauterbach slit her own throat, which is preposterous, of course. I can't even imagine interrogating her, the police talking to her and trying to get information. How long has she been sitting on this information? You know, she might have seen the blood, the paint.
FUHRMAN: Well, I kind of wonder just exactly what was going on there. And even a cooperative witness, once you find out that they knew something a long time ago, and had it not been for the investigation proceeding as it did, they quite possibly might have remained silent. So to think that somebody commits suicide by cutting their own throat, a female, is absurd. I've never seen that. I've rarely ever heard of it. So to make a statement like that of a young mother about to give birth to a child is ridiculous.
But he did give us the opportunity to put him not only at that location with the victim, witnessing what he claims to be a suicide, but the disposal of the body. He basically put himself in a coffin when did he that on that note.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, it never helps if you bury the body from a suicide or burn the body in this case, and then you take off running and you don't call. Neither of those are particularly good signs, are they.
FUHRMAN: It's another absurd statement. You call 911. And I would say, Greta, to further Sheriff Brown's statement, 21 years old is not a sophisticated young man. He doesn't have the means to flee the country or to be in some non-extraditable state. He needs the help of any family and friends. And any family or friend that helps him is going to end up in prison alongside of him.
So the inevitable is he's either going to get in a violent confrontation with law enforcement or he's going to give himself up and face the inevitable and not get his family and friends involved. And that is the absolute total picture here.
VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, the wise thing to do is to call Sheriff Ed Brown, who was just with us. Sheriff Ed Brown wants to talk to him and wants to facilitate a surrender. Mark, thank you.
Onslow County DA Dewey Hudson joins us live in North Carolina. Welcome, sir. Can you hear me, Mr. Hudson?
DEWEY HUDSON, ONSLOW COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, good. I can see you. Good. Thank you. Sir, the last thing I should do is jump ahead. I mean, this man hasn't even surrendered. He hasn't been charged or anything. He hasn't had a trial. He hasn't been convicted of anything. But just — you know, if you could just educate me on the law in North Carolina. If you kill someone in North Carolina who is pregnant, the woman is pregnant, is that eligible for two counts of murder, or is that one count under your law?
HUDSON: That would only be one count of murder in North Carolina. North Carolina — although a fetus can be viable, in North Carolina, the child has to be born and actually breathe before the murder. So if we were to find and determine that both of them were killed, we can only prosecute for one murder, that's correct.
VAN SUSTEREN: Sir, what is the role of the DA at this point in this investigation?
HUDSON: Well, we've been working with Sheriff Brown and other law enforcement officers the last day or two, helping to secure search warrants. And also at this point, we're going to make some major decisions in the next few hours as to whether or not any charges will be filed. And of course, my office will be making that decision.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, in terms of the search warrants, other than the home where Mr. Laurean lived, in the backyard, have other search warrants been served and executed?
HUDSON: Oh, yes. Earlier this week, they executed search warrants for the residence of the victim, Maria's residence, and some telephone records and things of that sort.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know what the relationship was between the victim and Mr. Laurean?
HUDSON: No. Greta, truthfully, the rape — the alleged rape does not involve my office. That's one that occurred or alleged to have occurred on the military base, so I have no jurisdiction. So nobody in my office has been involved in that whatsoever. We weren't even aware of that until she came missing, that there was a potential charge on base involved in that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Was Mr. Laurean's wife aware of the allegation of rape or the possibility of a relationship with Ms. Lauterbach?
HUDSON: Yes, my understanding is that she was aware that there was an allegation of rape involving her husband.
VAN SUSTEREN: Had she ever met Ms. Lauterbach herself?
HUDSON: Pardon me?
VAN SUSTEREN: Had Mr. Laurean's wife ever met the decedent?
HUDSON: I don't know the answer to that question.
VAN SUSTEREN: And she's cooperating and she's helping you out tonight.
HUDSON: The sheriff has indicated to me that she is cooperating. I think it's a little bit early to tell whether or not she's fully cooperating because we really don't know at this time what her involvement has been in this. But she has been, in fact, talking, and she did give consent earlier today to search the residence and search the backyard of her home.
VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Hudson, thank you very much, sir.
HUDSON: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: And again, Mr. Laurean, if you are watching, call Sheriff Ed Brown.
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