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Missing Marine told stepmom she was raped

A pregnant Marine who vanished  before she was to testify in a military probe claimed “a senior officer ... had raped her,” according to new court documents.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A pregnant Marine who vanished last month before she was to testify in a military probe claimed “a senior officer ... had raped her and that the investigation had gone sour,” according to new court documents.

Maria Lauterbach made the allegation to her stepmother, who also told investigators looking for the 20-year-old lance corporal that her stepdaughter was bipolar and had a history of compulsive lying, the documents filed this week state.

Military officials said Thursday they had ordered Lauterbach’s roommate, Sgt. Daniel Durham, to return from training in California to answer questions about the case.

Durham is believed to be the last person to speak with Lauterbach, who reportedly was about eight months pregnant. He was to return to Camp Lejeune as soon as possible, Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown said.

Brown did not describe Durham as a suspect, adding that the case remained a missing persons investigation.

“We do feel like he has answers and importance in being back here,” Brown said.

According to search warrant affidavits filed this week, Lauterbach's stepmother has told investigators that her stepdaughter “claimed she had been raped by a senior officer at her command, and that the investigation had gone sour.”

Brown declined to comment on the rape allegations detailed in the search warrant, as did officials at Camp Lejeune.

Authorities say Lauterbach, originally from Dayton, Ohio, was reported missing Dec. 19. Her cell phone was found Dec. 20 near the main gate at Camp Lejeune.

Lauterbach is assigned to the 2nd Marine Logistics Group of the II Marine Expeditionary Force. Camp Lejeune officials said she joined the Marine Corps in June 2006 and was trained as a personnel clerk.