San Bernardino County Investigators Continue to Search Locations for Missing Woman
TWENTYNINE PALMS – Evidence of foul play is now being sought in the disappearance of a 20-year-old pregnant woman who hasn’t been seen since June 28.
Erin Corwin, who was last seen leaving her home for a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park, has been missing ever since. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s investigators are searching for specific locations to see if evidence of foul play can be discovered. But law enforcement officials have stopped short of calling the search a criminal investigation.
In a news release, Capt. Leland Boldt declared, “We are looking for a crime scene.” No search locations have been disclosed by investigators. Last Friday, investigators received information that led to a more focused search location.
Law enforcement officials are battling against a volume of mounting information that includes a possible extra-marital affair, misleading statements to authorities, gun involvement, and even the possibility that she disappeared on her own.
A person of interest in the case is Christopher Brandon Lee, 24, who is suspected of having extra-marital relations with Corwin. Investigators searched his home on July 4, and he was arrested that same day for possession of a potato launcher, an illegal destructive device. Also searched was the White Rock Horse Rescue, where both Corwin and Lee had horses. Lee also worked at that location. He has not been arrested in Corwin’s disappearance, nor has he been declared a suspect.
Erin Corwin is married to a marine stationed at the military base in Twentynine Palms, who has been cleared by authorities. Lee is an ex-marine.
Lee has made misleading statements about his relationship with Corwin, according to affidavits filed in various search warrants provided by law enforcement. Among those statements include one originally noting that he knew little about Corwin.
Meanwhile, Lee’s wife Nicole confided to a witness, Isabella Megli, that the lack of a body means law enforcement does not have a case against her husband. One affidavit, written by Detective Corey Emon, read “Nicole told Isabella that without a body the detectives did not have a case against them, and the detectives would never find the body.” Nicole had also berated Lee in front of Isabella about not being able to keep his lies straight when he was interviewed by detectives because he was dumb. “Nicole stated she was able to keep her story straight and the detectives did not get any information from her.”
Additional information came from Erin Corwin’s friend, Jessica Trentham, of Tennessee, who told authorities that Lee was worried that if Corwin was pregnant, his wife would divorce him and prevent him from seeing his child. Other statements made to authorities indicated Lee said that he kissed Corwin, but did not have sexual relations. However, Lee’s neighbors, along with Trentham, stated that Lee and Corwin were having an affair.
Two days after Lee went hunting in Joshua Tree National Park, on June 28, Corwin’s vehicle was discovered. Investigators have determined that both Lee and Corwin were in the park on the same day. Lee said he did not see Corwin in the park. When Corwin’s car was discovered on June 30, a single set of shoe tracks led from the driver’s door to a set of tire tracks. According to the affidavit, the tracks are similar to the track that would be left by Lee’s Jeep Cherokee, presenting more evidence of a possible connection.
Desert Sun: No new leads in case