Authorities held on to the Marine wife's body for forensic testing

By Tara Fowler
December 04, 2014 02:00 PM
San Bernardino County Sheriff/AP

The body of Erin Corwin, the pregnant wife of U.S. Marine Cpl. Jon Corwin, will finally be released to her family.

The 19-year-old, who disappeared in June, was found dead in a mine shaft located outside Joshua Tree National Park in August after weeks of searching.

Authorities held on to her remains for months in order to conduct a thorough forensic analysis.

Corwin’s alleged lover, neighbor and former Marine Christopher Lee, is accused of killing the young wife.

Police believe that 24-year-old Lee, who told investigators he searched the Internet for “how to dispose of a human body,” killed Corwin and stashed her body in the remote desert location.

He pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder with a special allegation of lying in wait in August.

Lee made a brief appearance at the court hearing on Tuesday, but did not say anything.

There is the possibility that an additional murder charge could be filed against Lee, pending results of the autopsy.

“There’s still an ongoing investigation to determine if she was pregnant at the time of the murder,” San Bernardino District Attorney Michael Ramos told PEOPLE. “If we find that to be true and the fetus was far enough along, there could be another kind of murder charge filed.”

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