Why Ex-Marine Christopher Lee Murdered His Mistress

On June 28, 2014, Erin Corwin left her home to meet her lover, Christopher Lee, to go on a supposed hunting trip together. Erin was excited to get to their meeting place, even telling a friend that she thought Christopher was going to propose to her (via People). Little did she know that her lover had other plans.

Erin and Christopher were neighbors at the Twentynine Palms Marine base in California. Erin lived there with her Marine husband, Jon Corwin, and Christopher, a Marine himself, lived with his wife Nichole and their young daughter Liberty. The two couples struck up a friendship and would spend time together when the Marines were not on duty. According to the Daily Mail, the couples watched TV shows and movies together and would have barbecues and share meals.

Erin and Jon were newlyweds, and Erin eventually got pregnant with their first child. A few weeks later, however, she reportedly had a miscarriage. The loss was difficult for the couple and that drove a wedge between them. Chris observed Erin's sadness and started spending more time with her alone.

Chris and Erin's affair begins

According to the New York Post, the pair soon started having an affair. It began on the night when the two couples were hanging out and watching "The Walking Dead." Erin excused herself as she didn't want to watch the violent show. Chris soon followed Erin and left his wife with Erin's husband. While playing a video game, Erin and Chris shared their first kiss.

Erin and Chris' relationship seemingly intensified, and the fact that Jon was gone on deployment for long periods of time reportedly pushed Erin closer to Chris. Chris' wife Nichole found out about the ongoing affair and told Jon about it, as reported by the Daily Mail. Erin and Chris told their spouses that the affair was over, only to continue seeing each other in secret weeks later.

In a poem Chris penned to Erin, he said, "Like it or not you still hold a part of my heart, Ready or not, we were gonna get caught. Don't give up and I won't too, Hopefully like me, you still think 'I love you.'"

In June, Erin told her close friends and family that she was pregnant again. This time, however, her husband Jon was reportedly not the father.

Erin Corwin's death

On the day of Erin's disappearance, she texted a friend talking about Chris' surprise, expecting it to be a marriage proposal (via People). "He said he's honestly not sure how I'm going to react. Seriously I don't know why he would drag me to a very special place for a big dumb surprise," read the text. She gave a goodbye kiss to her husband and went on her way to meet Chris at the Joshua Tree National Park.

That night, Erin never came back home and texts and calls to her phone went unanswered. Investigators and volunteers spent weeks combing the areas of the national park. On August 16, 2014, almost two months after she was seen alive, Erin's body was found in an abandoned mine shaft located just outside the Joshua Tree National Park, according to Desert Sun.

Chris became the prime suspect in Erin's murder, and he was arrested soon after. Chris pleaded not guilty at first, but later confessed that he killed Erin for allegedly abusing his daughter, Liberty. Authorities didn't believe the explanation and suggested that he murdered Erin after finding out that she was carrying his child. He allegedly didn't want his wife to find out about the rekindled affair, fearing that she would leave and take their child with her, according to the Daily Mail.

The aftermath of Erin's murder

In court, Christopher admitted to strangling Erin and hiding her body in the mine shaft. The mine shaft was located in a remote area and was 100 feet deep. His claims of Erin abusing his child were unfounded, and he was convicted of first-degree murder, according to Oxygen. He stated that the murder was done in a fit of rage, and it wasn't planned. However, his alleged Google searches revealed that he was looking for ways to dispose of a body before the murder took place.

During the investigation, authorities could not confirm nor deny Erin's pregnancy. Her body was found almost two months after her death and was in an advanced state of decomposition, so the medical examiner could not perform a proper test. Had she been pregnant at the time of her death, Chris would have received a second murder charge for the unborn child.

Christopher Lee is incarcerated at the California Institution for Men, where he will spend the rest of his life (via The Cinemaholic).