The decomposed body of Erin Corwin was pulled from an abandoned mine shaft, where her remains were discovered 140-feet down by investigators on Saturday. The recovery crew went into the mine on Sunday with two specific tasks in mind, one being to bring up Corwin’s body, reports The Press Enterprise on Aug. 18.
If this was a decade ago, finding the young pregnant woman’s body would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Today police were able to locate Corwin's body using technology which included examining the data of pings from cell phones. They were able to pinpoint the location of Corwin's body in that one mine shaft out of the 100s in the area by using top of the line forensic technology.
A camera was dropped into the mine shaft on Saturday and the images showed a body about 140-feet down the shaft. The poor air quality and the depth of the mine shaft caused a delay on retrieving the body. The recovery was delayed overnight so that an eight-person San Bernardino County Fire Department urban search and rescue team could be called in.
The two firefighters who were lowered into the shaft had specific tasks to do, as one firefighter was lowered in to retrieve evidence that was seen on the camera. The second firefighter came out with Corwin’s body, reports Fire Chief Mark Hartwig said.
During the recovery the firefighter who brought Corwin's body out of the shaft suffered cardiac distress. He was also injured when a rock fell on him, Hartwig said.
CBS Local reports that Corwin’s body was officially identified using dental records. The autopsy, which is not completed as of yet, will confirm if Corwin was pregnant or not.
Erin Corwin was last seen on June 28 when she told her husband she was going to scout out some trails to go hiking with her mother, who was due to arrive for a visit in a few days. Her husband reported her missing when she never returned home.
Investigators learned that Corwin was having an affair with her neighbor, who was also married and a U.S. Marine. Friends of the then 19-year-old Corwin stepped forward to tell investigators what they knew and share Corwin’s emails that would help the case. Corwin would have turned 20 during the time she was still considered missing.
Corwin was having an affair with Christopher Brandon Lee, 24, who was arrested in Anchorage, Alaska over the weekend for this homicide. Corwin had said in an email to a friend that she was going with Lee on a “special hunting trip” with Lee the day she went missing. They were going to "celebrate" the news of her pregnancy.
Fox News reports today that according to court papers investigators found 10 spent casings from a .40-caliber gun in Lee's Jeep. Lee was considered a suspect early on in the investigation. Two days after Corwin's husband reported her missing, Corwin's car was found on a dirt road.
A set of footprints led from her driver's door to tire tracks of a vehicle that she got into. Those tire tracks matched Lee's Jeep tires. Police will not divulge how Corwin was killed or any information on the evidence they retrieved from that mine shaft as of yet.
Corwin's body was badly decomposed which suggested she had died not too long after she was reported missing. Chances are that she died the same day she walked out of her home for the last time.
Corwin believed they were going to “celebrate” the pregnancy, as she reportedly believed the baby was Lee’s. Little did she know that she was allegedly being lured to her death. Investigators believed Lee’s motive of this killing was the pregnancy. By killing Corwin the secret would also die and his wife wouldn’t find out and divorce him.