The key suspect in the apparent murder of a pregnant Marine and her unborn child in North Carolina was seen in Shreveport, La., according to police there.
Shreveport police Chief Henry Whitehorn Sr. told The Associated Press that Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean was seen there, but it was believed he had already left the area.
"We're working with the U.S. Marshal's Service and other law enforcement agencies trying to locate him," Whitehorn said. "We don't know if he is still in the area. We believe it may have just been a pass-through. We received information he may be headed into Texas."
Earlier today, Onslow County, N.C., Sheriff Ed Brown said Laurean had been sighted "in transit" outside North Carolina around midnight, but declined to give specifics on the location or circumstances, citing an ongoing investigation.
Brown said a witness spent time with Laurean, who is suspected to have a connection to 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach's December disappearance and possible homicide.
A separate law enforcement agency verified the sighting, but was unable to capture Laurean, Brown said.
"He did not stay where he was at in this sighting," Brown said. "He wasn't spotted by a cop. He wasn't spotted by law enforcement."
Brown said it was good the witness didn't try to take on Laurean.
"He could be a dangerous and violent person ... put in a corner," Brown said.
"I do feel comfortable Mr. Laurean will be located," he added, but Brown refused to give specific timeline. "The sense of urgency to apprehend him is there."
Police also are eager to get the full picture of what may have occurred between Lauterbach and Laurean, Brown added.
On Saturday, investigators began unearthing what they said were burnt human remains from a fire pit behind Laurean's Jacksonville, N.C., home, but have yet to officially identify the remains as Lauterbach's.
"The fetus was developed enough that the little hand was about the size of my thumb," Brown said. "The little fingers were rolled up and this is consistent with what we were looking for -- a pregnant lady who is the victim, Maria Lauterbach, and her unborn child."
"One of the things that will probably stick with me for a long time and forever is that little hand," Brown said. "That is bizarre; it is tragic and it's disgusting."
After finding the remains on Saturday, authorities issued an arrest warrant for Laurean, who they said fled early Friday after leaving his wife a note in which he admitted burying Lauterbach's body.
The charred human remains, found buried about six inches to one foot deep, will need to be checked against dental records to make a positive identification, Onslow County medical examiner Dr. Charles Garrett said Saturday.
Laurean's neighbor Richard Alander said Saturday that "about 16 days ago he [Laurean] asked to borrow a shovel from me," and afterwards Alander remembered seeing a "mysterious burn pile" in the yard.
The case took a dramatic turn Friday when an undisclosed witness gave police evidence that Lauterbach had been killed and dumped into a shallow grave. Investigators focused their search on Laurean's property, and late Friday said they had made a discovery.