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More arrests possible after body of Marine's missing wife is found

San Bernardino County D.A. says more arrests may come in death of U.S. Marine's missing wife

Authorities say more arrests are possible in the death of a U.S. Marine's missing wife, whose body was found 140 feet down a mine shaft near Joshua Tree National Park.

Christopher Brandon Lee, 24, was arrested about 10 p.m. Sunday in Anchorage on suspicion of killing 19-year-old Erin Corwin after search crews found her body the day before in the mine shaft, authorities said.

But San Bernardino County District Atty. Mike Ramos said at a news conference Monday there is potential for more arrests as the investigation continues.

According to a search warrant released in July, Lee's wife, Nicole, told a witness that detectives did not have a case against them and that they "would never find her body."

Christopher Lee is the only suspect in custody. His wife is also believed to be in Alaska, said Cindy Bachman, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

He and his wife began storing their belongings at a property owned by Isabella Megli of Yucca Valley after detectives searched their home as part of their investigation into Corwin's disappearance, according to the warrant.

They were reportedly moving to Alaska, according to the warrant.

At the time, Lee's wife told Megli that detectives had missed something while searching their home garage, according to the warrant.

She also reportedly scolded Lee and called him dumb for "not being able to keep his lies straight" while talking to detectives, the warrant said.

Corwin disappeared June 28, the same day she was apparently on her way to Joshua Tree National Park to go on a hunting trip with Lee, according to the warrant.

Authorities say Corwin and Christopher Lee began having an affair in February.

Authorities said Monday they were awaiting autopsy results to confirm whether she was pregnant.

The announcement on Monday capped a roughly eight-week search effort for Corwin, whose husband reported her missing after she didn't return to her Twentynine Palms home from a trip to Joshua Tree National Park.

Technology-driven information led investigators to an area with three mining districts -- Rose of Peru, Brooklyn and Los Angeles.

Crews began searching the bottom of the mines on Saturday and found the body of a woman about 4:30 p.m.

Unable to reach the area, they returned on Sunday with a San Bernardino County Urban Search and Rescue Team and removed the body about 6:30 p.m.

That same night, a forensic odontologist used dental records to positively identify the body as that of Corwin.

For breaking news in Los Angeles and throughout California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

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