The suspected killer of a 20-year-old pregnant Camp Lejeune Marine is in a North Carolina jail late Friday after being extradited from Mexico, law enforcement sources said.
Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, 22, was extradited Friday to the United States and held on a murder charge.
Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, 22, was arrested in Mexico in April 2008. He has been indicted on charges that include financial card transaction fraud, obtaining property by false pretenses and first-degree murder in the death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach.
Laurean, who is being held without bond, was booked into the Onslow County Detention Center about 9 p.m. ET, according to a police statement obtained by CNN.
An arraignment is scheduled for Monday, the statement read.
Lauterbach was eight months pregnant when she disappeared in December 2007; her charred body and that of her fetus were found beneath a fire pit in Laurean's backyard near Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where both were stationed, in January 2008.
Investigators accompanied Laurean, who fled to Mexico, back to the United States on Friday morning, two law enforcement sources said.
Laurean will stand trial in Onslow County, North Carolina, for Lauterbach's killing.
North Carolina prosecutors allege Laurean killed Lauterbach on December 14 and used her ATM card 10 days later before fleeing to Mexico. He was arrested in San Juan Vina in the Mexican state of Michoacan. Because he holds dual citizenship in the United States and Mexico, he could not be immediately deported and had to go through the extradition process, authorities have said.
Before Laurean's extradition to the United States, Camp Lejeune spokesman Maj. Cliff Gilmore said the slaying suspect would go into the civilian jail in Onslow County and stand trial in a civilian court. He was listed as a deserter shortly after he disappeared following Lauterbach's death. He remains on deserter status, but is still considered an active-duty Marine, Gilmore said.
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"[Laurean] will be treated like any other inmate in our detention center, and he will be prosecuted by the district attorney's office," Rick Sutherland, inspector general of the Onslow County Sheriff's Office, said in a written statement.
The FBI said in a news release Thursday the sheriff's office asked for help in finding Laurean after he disappeared January 12, 2008.
If convicted, Laurean would face a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. Mexico's extradition policy prohibits U.S. authorities from seeking the death penalty against fugitives it hands over.
Asked by a Mexican reporter at the time of his arrest whether he killed Lauterbach, Laurean replied, "I loved her."
Authorities found Lauterbach's body after Laurean's wife, Christina, produced a note her husband had written claiming the 20-year-old woman slit her own throat during an argument, according to officials.
Although a gaping 4-inch wound was found on the left side of Lauterbach's neck, autopsy results indicated that the wound would not have been fatal and may have occurred after death. Lauterbach died from blunt-force trauma to the head, according to the autopsy.
Prosecutors have said there was no evidence that Christina Laurean was involved in or aware of Lauterbach's slaying before she gave the note to authorities. As part of the effort to apprehend Laurean, authorities had seized a computer belonging to his sister-in-law that Christina Laurean was using to communicate with her husband, a law enforcement official had told CNN.
Lauterbach had accused Laurean of raping her, and it is unclear whether he was the father of her unborn child. Her relatives have said they believe he was. Laurean had denied the rape allegation and said he had had no sexual contact with Lauterbach.