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Missing Marine wife may have been shot

Posted: July 22, 2014 9:45 a.m.
Updated: July 22, 2014 9:44 a.m.
 

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. (AP) — Investigators believe the missing pregnant wife of a California-based Marine may have been shot while hunting with a married ex-Marine with whom she was having an affair.

The Desert Sun (http://desert.sn/1sGKXes) cites court documents that say on the day she disappeared three weeks ago, 20-year-old Erin Corwin had planned to meet with Christopher Brandon Lee to spend a day together on a hunting trip.

A detective's affidavit shows the investigation is focusing on the 24-year-old Lee, who may have been the father of her child.

Lee says he was not with Corwin on the day she went missing.

Authorities said Monday that Lee was arrested July 4 on suspicion of possession of a destructive device. He was released on bail.

Authorities wouldn't say if the two cases are connected.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A recently discharged Marine who volunteered at a horse ranch with the missing pregnant wife of another California-based Marine has been arrested on suspicion of possession of a destructive device, authorities said Monday.

But authorities wouldn't say whether the cases of Christopher Brandon Lee, 24, and Erin Corwin, 20, are connected.

Lee, then a Marine corporal, was arrested July 4 after a search warrant was served at a home in Yucca Valley and then released on bail two days later, the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

A day after that, he was honorably discharged after six years in the Marine Corps, the Desert Sun (http://desert.sn/1sGKXes ) reported.

The arrest came about a week after the last time Erin Corwin was seen leaving her home apparently bound for Joshua Tree National Park while three months pregnant. Corwin disappeared under suspicious circumstances, authorities said. Two days later, her car was found outside the gate of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, where her husband, Marine Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, is stationed. Both are from Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Corwin and Lee both volunteered at the White Rock Horse Rescue Ranch in Yucca Valley, the Desert Sun reported.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller said Lee was arrested as a result of a search warrant in an ongoing investigation, but would not give more details, nor say any more about the destructive device Lee is suspected of possessing.

It was not immediately clear whether Lee had hired an attorney, and current contact information in his name could not be found.

He was in the Marines for seven years, last serving as a rifleman in the Individual Ready Reserve.

A number of people have been interviewed in Corwin's case, Miller said, but no person of interest or suspect has been named.

Several law enforcement agencies and hundreds of volunteers searched a broad swath of desert for Corwin, but there have been no reported sightings. The search was significantly scaled back last week, but it continues, officials said.

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