It has been more than three weeks since Twentynine Palms, California, resident Erin Corwin went missing, and law enforcement has been focusing the investigation on Christopher Brandon Lee, a married ex-Marine with whom Corwin (also married) was having an affair. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department has maintained that the case has no suspects and is not considered criminal, but affidavits show authorities believe that Corwin may have been shot on a hunting trip that she and Lee were supposed to take together.
Corwin was last seen on June 28, the day she went to Joshua Tree National Park. According to The Desert Sun:
On the day she disappeared, Erin Corwin, 20, had planned to meet with her neighbor, Christopher Brandon Lee, 24, to spend a "special day together" on a hunting trip, according to documents filed in a Joshua Tree courthouse.
The day trip was meant to celebrate Corwin's pregnancy, but detectives said Lee was afraid his wife would discover their affair.
"It is highly likely that Erin could have been harmed by an unknown firearm," detectives wrote in court documents. "Sometime after Erin left with Lee, her phone was deactivated (turned off). Detectives believe if Erin was injured and left at an undisclosed location, she would not (be) able to call for help."
Lee, who may have been the father of Corwin's child, denied being with Corwin on the day she disappeared though he did tell detectives he was hunting at Joshua Tree National Park at the time. He also denied having had sex with her, though he admitted that they kissed. And now, a friend told authorities Lee moved to Alaska last week.
As if things weren't suspicious enough, according to the affidavit, Lee's wife Nichole had told her friend Isabel Megli that they had something to hide:
"Nichole made statements to Isabel about the detectives having missed something at their residence when it was searched because detectives did not search the garage," the affadavit states. "Nichole told Isabel that without a body the detectives did not have a case against them and the detectives would never find the body."
When contacted Monday evening, Megli told The Desert Sun she and Nichole Lee weren't specifically talking about the Corwin case, but similar cases.
While it all seems too perfectly dubious, I hope authorities can get to the bottom of this as soon as possible, so that the party responsible can be brought to justice and Corwin's husband and family can begin to get some closure.
Image via AP.