SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The body of a U.S. Marine’s wife who went missing in June has been found 140 feet down in a mine shaft near Joshua Tree National Park, and her former neighbor has been arrested in connection with her death, authorities announced Monday.
Cpl. Christopher Brandon Lee, a former next door neighbor who is suspected of having had an affair with Erin Corwin, 19, was arrested by federal authorities on Sunday in Anchorage, more than a month after Corwin went missing June 28.
On June 30, authorities found Corwin’s car abandoned a couple of minutes away from her home. Near her car, detectives found a shoe print and a set of tire marks, which they said matched those on Lee’s vehicle, according to the arrest warrant.
Corwin was about three months pregnant when she disappeared. She told her husband she planned to check out the park to prepare for her mother’s planned visit from Tennessee. Her husband, Cpl. Jonathan Wyne Corwin, is stationed at Marine Corps Air Ground Compat Center in Twentynine Palms. He has not spoken publicly about the disappearance, KTLA reported.
Corwin’s body was found Saturday night in a mine shaft on Bureau of Land Management property outside the national park, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said at a news conference Monday. Searches used cell phone location information to narrow their search, he said.
Authorities are seeking to have Lee extradited to California from Alaska. If he fights extradition, it could take up the five weeks to bring him back to San Bernardino.