TWENTYNINE PALMS – Forensic evidence along with sworn statements have narrowed the trail to a missing 19-year-old pregnant woman that law enforcement officials have still been unable to locate.
Erin Corwin, who was three weeks pregnant when her husband reported her missing on June 28, has been romantically linked to a neighbor by reports of other neighbors and a friend of hers from Tennessee. In affidavits connected to Corwin’s disappearance, San Bernardino County investigators determined that she and neighbor Christopher Lee were headed for Joshua Tree National Park on Sunday morning, June 28.
Lee has denied seeing Erin, according to the affidavits, despite similar tire tracks for both his car and for Erin’s car, plus a set of footprints leading from her car to those that were identified. “Lee stated that he went hunting,” according to the affidavit, “at approximately (7:30 a.m. on June 28),” which was the same time that Erin’s husband, Marine Corporal Jonathan Corwin told authorities he last saw Erin.
Erin Corwin, in the same affidavit, told her husband that she was going to Joshua Tree National Park to hike in order to scout trails in preparation for her mother’s visit on July 4. Lee reportedly returned to his residence at 4 p.m. on June 28. Investigators said that Erin’s friend, Jessica Trenthan, of Tennessee, told them that Erin and Lee “were romantically involved and that Erin may be pregnant with Lee’s child.”
Reportedly, Erin told Trenthan that, “Lee was worried if his wife (Nicole) discovered Erin was pregnant, Lee’s wife would divorce him and keep him from (Lee’s own) child.” Trenthan knew that Erin and Lee were scheduled to go on a day trip on June 28. When Jonathan Corwin tried to contact his wife on the afternoon of June 28, she did not answer. Investigators determined that Erin’s cell phone was deactivated.
On June 30, Erin’s car was located in Twentynine Palms, minutes from the Corwin and Lee residences. Investigators discovered a single set of shoe tracks that led from her car to that of a parked vehicle in which the tire tracks matched Lee’s car. At first, investigators said, Lee denied knowing Erin. Later, he acknowledged the two grown close and had kissed each other, but he denied to investigators about a sexual relationship.
Detectives also recovered 10 shell casings from a .40-caliber rifle that has been linked to Lee. The rifle has not been recovered, according to reports. A witness, Isabella Megli, told investigators that Lee’s wife, Nicole, said, “without a body, detectives did not have a case against them and the detectives would never find the body.” Nicole Lee also told Megli that her husband “did not have an alibi for June 29,” the day after Erin was last seen.
Megli also reported that Nicole Lee “berated (her husband) in front of her about not being able to keep his lies straight when he was interviewed by detectives because he was dumb.”
The couple had been moving items from their home onto her property in preparation for a move to Alaska. None of the evidence linking Erin and Christopher Lee, however, has led to Lee’s arrest. Erin turned 20-years-old on July 15.
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