GOLDSBORO, N.C. – A former Marine goes on trial for the death of a pregnant colleague whose burned body was found in his backyard in North Carolina.
Jury selection started Tuesday for Cesar Laurean, who evaded authorities for months in Mexico before he was caught in 2008 and extradited. He faces charges of first-degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach of Vandalia, Ohio.
Lauterbach had accused Laurean of rape and of being the father of her unborn baby, a charged he denied to military investigators. DNA tests showed Laurean wasn't the father.
The two worked together at the Marine base Camp Lejeune. Lauterbach vanished in December 2007 and her charred remains were found the next month. Laurean has pleaded not guilty.