On the day the wife of a Marine vanished weeks ago, she had secretly slipped out of her Southern California home to go hunting with her married neighbor, according to documents published in the Desert Sun.
Erin Corwin was 19 and pregnant when her husband reported her missing on June 29. The day before, she said she was going to scout out Joshua Tree National Park for a future visit there with her mother, but never returned home. Investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department believe that was a subterfuge to rendezvous with Christopher Lee, a neighbor and former Marine in Twentynine Palms who might be the father of her unborn child.
Lee, 24, denied to detectives that he and Corwin were together on June 28 and also said that though he'd kissed her, they never had sex. He reportedly moved to Alaska sometime after the woman went missing.
One of Corwin's friends, however, told authorities that Lee and Corwin were going hunting to celebrate her pregnancy, station KFMB reports. The friend provided police with text messages from Corwin backing up her claims.
Lee's wife allegedly berated him for having getting tangled in his own lies as he spoke to detectives. More ominously, the friend who saw Lee's wife yelling at him also said that Lee's wife said "detectives would never find the body,” according to KTLA.
A detective warned in a probable cause statement that Corwin might have been shot.
“It is highly likely Erin could have been harmed by an unknown firearm. Sometime after Erin left with Lee, her phone was de-activated," the statement says.
Still, the sheriff's office is unsure if foul play has occurred.
"Although suspicious circumstances have existed from the inception of this investigation there is still not enough evidence to rule out that Erin Corwin could be voluntarily missing," the department said in a statement on July 22.
Authorities searched Lee's home earlier this month and arrested him on alleged possession of a destructive device, identified in USA Today as a potato gun. The sheriff's office said that felony charge is unrelated to Corwin's disappearance.
An examination of footprints and tire tracks at the Marine base in Twentynine Palms appears to link Corwin to Lee, according to the documents first published in the Desert Sun.
A witness recently came forward saying that he saw Corwin leave her car and get into a vehicle driven by a man on the day she supposedly went to Joshua Tree.