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Erin Corwin dead: Corwin's body found 140-feet down mine shaft, lover arrested

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The body of the pregnant wife of a U.S. Marine who has been missing since June was found in an abandoned mine shaft in a remote area of Southern California. Her ex-Marine lover has been arrested on suspicion of homicide, reports ABC News on Aug. 18, 2014.

Erin Corwin, 20, was in the early stages of pregnancy when she went missing. The investigation into this case shifted its focus over to a neighbor. Friends conveyed that Corwin was having an affair with her neighbor, Christopher Brandon Lee, and that there was a possibility that he was the father of the unborn child.

The New York Daily News reports that Lee allegedly killing Corwin was most likely because he was worried the baby was his and he killed her to keep that secret. By killing her he thought he would cover up the affair from her husband, the Marines and his own wife.

Early on in the investigation, Corwin's car was found abandoned and tire marks in the area suggested that she was picked up by someone in a Jeep. The tire tracks matched Lee's Jeep, so he was in the scope of law enforcement as a suspect very early on in this investigation, according to People today.

Lee had moved to Alaska with his family after the investigation into the missing pregnant woman involved a search of his home. He was arrested in July 4 on suspicion of possessing a destructive device. He was released on bail two days later. He was honorably discharged from the Marines after his seven-year career with the military. He then set about moving his family to Alaska.

Authorities have spent almost two months searching the area where Corbin’s body was found, as there are over 100 mine shafts. Her remains were found about 140-feet down the abandoned mining shaft. Her remains were identified by dental records. Corwin disappeared from her home in Twentynine Palms, California back on June 28. Her husband Marine Cpl. Jonathan Corwin reported his wife missing the next day.

Police in Anchorage, Alaska arrested Lee and he is awaiting extradition to California to face the homicide charges in Corwin’s case. Police found other evidence in the mine shaft that goes with this case. They would not reveal what that evidence was.

Corwin left the house the day she went missing telling her husband she was going to scout out hiking trails for her mother’s up-and-coming visit. When she went missing a friend handed over emails from Corwin who said she was going on a “special hunting trip” with Lee that day to celebrate the pregnancy.

Investigators said that it was sometime after Corwin met up with Lee that day that her cell phone was turned off. Police will not discuss Corwin’s cause of death or any of the details about the scene where she was found.

They would only say it was an undisclosed location where her remains were discovered. While she was found in a mine shaft, there are more than 100 in that area, so unless the area is described, it's not likely anyone will find it until police release that information.

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