Ex-Marine who knew missing military wife arrested


Ex-Marine Christopher Lee has been arrested in suspicion of possessing a destructive device.  Authorities will not confirm if the arrest is linked to the search for Erin Corwin.

According to USA Today, it has been confirmed that Lee and Corwin both worked at the White Rock Horse Rescue Ranch in Yucca Valley. Corwin was a volunteer who worked with horses. Photos show Lee working with a horse at the ranch.

Another link between the two can be found in High Desert court documents. According to a search warrant filed in the Joshua Tree Superior Court, authorities have rummaged for clues in a dark-colored Jeep Cherokee with Alaska plates as part of the Corwin investigation. “Lee’s home of record is Anchorage,” said Capt. Cheryl Dengler, a Marine spokeswoman.

NBC San Diego reported that Lee, then a Marine corporal, was arrested July 4 after a search warrant was served at a home in Yucca Valley and then released on bail two days later.  The next day, he was honorably discharged after seven years with the Marine Corps.  He last served as a rifleman in the Individual Ready Reserve.

The arrest came about a week after the last time Erin Corwin, three months pregnant, was seen leaving her home, apparently bound for Joshua Tree National Park.  She disappeared under suspicious conditions, authorities said. Two days later, Corwin’s car was found outside the gate of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, where her husband, Marine Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, is stationed. Both are from Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Lee, 24, was arrested more than two weeks ago but the sheriff’s department did not release information about his arrest until Monday. The detectives involved in the search work for the homicide department.

Officer Jodi Miller, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department, would not confirm if Lee’s arrest was related to the search for Corwin.  However, when asked for an update on the search for the missing woman, Miller’s first response was to mention the arrest of Lee.

Miller said Lee was arrested as a result of a search warrant in an ongoing investigation, but would not give more details.  She would not give additional information on the destructive device Lee is suspected of possessing.

Lee was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, then released on July 6 after posting bail.  USA Today reported that it was not immediately clear whether Lee had hired an attorney.  Current contact information in his name could not be found.

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