D.A. files murder charges against man accused of killing Erin Corwin

Christopher Brandon Lee is due in an Alaska courtroom later today

Erin Corwin's body discovered in Hi-Desert mine shaft, murder suspect arrested in Alaska

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - Update: Today District Attorney Michael Ramos announced the filing of murder charges against 24-year-old Christopher Brandon Lee who is charged with killing 19-year-old Erin Corwin. 

The District Attorney's Office also filed the special circumstance allegation of "lying in wait," increasing the potential penalty to life without parole or death.   "The decision regarding which penalty will be sought will be made after a full review of the facts and evidence in the case," District Attorney Michael Ramos said.

Lee was arrested on Sunday by officers in Alaska on suspicion of murder and is currently awaiting extradition to California. He is due in court in Alaska today at 3:30 for his initial hearing.  

If Lee waives extradition, he can be returned to San Bernardino County immediately.  However, if he fights extradition, it may take four to six weeks.

This case was investigated by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and the investigation is ongoing. Deputy District Attorney Sean Daugherty is prosecuting the case.

"Once again, we are faced with a terrible crime that shows absolutely no regard for the value of human life," Ramos said. "Make no mistake that this office will fight to see that justice is carried out for our victim and her family."

This is an active investigation. No further details will be released at this time.

(Monday's story)

San Bernardino Sheriff's Department confirm that body of Erin Corwin has been found in a mine shaft outside of Joshua Tree National Park this weekend.  Her alleged lover Christopher Lee has been arrested in Alaska for her murder.

At a noon news conference in San Bernardino, Sheriff John McMahon announced that Corwin's body was discovered in a mine shaft near Joshua Tree National Park on Saturday.  Due to the remote location of her body, they were unable to retrieve her remains until Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m.  A positive I.D was made later that night and at 10:00 p.m. Lee was arrested in Anchorage, Alaska. 

According to Anchorage Police, they apprehended Lee after serving a extraditable warrant during a traffic stop.  Lee was taken into custody without incident and was transported to the Anchorage Jail.

San Bernardino District Attorney Mike Ramos says Lee will go through the extradition process to bring him back to San Bernardino County to answer to charges of murdering Corwin. 

The Sheriff's Department is continuing their investigation and did confirm that both Lee and Corwin had an intimate relationship, but are unable to confirm if Corwin is pregnant until an autopsy is concluded which was underway during Monday's news conference. 

Corwin is married to 29 Palms Marine Jon Corwin.  Lee finished his active duty with the 29 Palms Marine Base on July 7th. The heavily decorated rifleman was honorably discharged. 

Sheriff McMahon also thanked the countless hours that searchers from several agencies conducted over the past 8 weeks.  Searchers logged over 5,000 hours searching 300 square miles before locating Erin's body in a deep 140 foot mine shaft.  One search member was injured by a falling rock while searching.  

Check back for updates. 

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