Durham connection in Marine murder case

January 14, 2008 4:58:43 PM PST
A woman out for a Saturday morning jog has now been thrust into the spotlight of the Marine murder mystery.

Mary Yordy, a book preservationist at Duke University, had read nothing about a missing pregnant Marine and another Marine, murder suspect Cesar Laurean, on the run. "It's a really sad story that I had not really been paying much attention to it," Yordy told Eyewitness News reported Gerrick Brenner.

But Saturday while walking her dog across the street from the Durham Police Department, Mary found a military identification card with the name Frances Lauterbach, also known as Maria Frances Lauterbach.

The card was in the grass just outside Durham's Greyhound bus station. "It was sort of obvious," Yordy said. "I feel like I must have been the first person walking by because it was really easy to see it."

Not knowing she was holding an ID of a woman now presumed dead, Mary asked a couple of men at a pay phone if they were Frances Lauterbach. She tried to turn it into the Greyhound agent who recognized the name and told her to go straight to the public across the street. "When they handled the card, I noticed they were using latex gloves. So I figured it was important," Yordy said.

Mary later noticed the police combing through the bushes looking for other evidence. She says FBI agents called her home.

Others in the area like taxi cab driver, Archie Chavis say Cesar Larean must have passed through Durham. "So someone had to come inside the bus station. It had to be like that. Someone came to get the bus here and threw the ID down. That happens a lot of times," Chavis said.

Lauterbach disappeared sometime after Dec. 14, not long after she met with military prosecutors to talk about her April allegation that Laurean raped her.

As the manhunt for Marine Corporal Cesar Laurean intensifies, federal investigators also are offering a $25,000 reward for information. Laurean is considered armed and dangerous.

If you have any information concerning Laurean contact your local law enforcement immediately.


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