Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Jay Laprete / AP
Motorists drive near an electronic billboard with the picture of Cesar Laurean, a Marine wanted in the slaying of a pregnant colleague, Monday, in Columbus, Ohio.

Slain Marine mourned as search intensifies
Sheriff warns prime suspect: 'You’re never gone for good'

Associated Press

VANDALIA, Ohio - Hundreds prayed for Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach and hailed the pregnant Marine for her strength, vitality and service as law enforcement officials warned the man suspected in her killing that they would hunt him down.

The search for Marine Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean entered its fourth day Tuesday with a $25,000 reward and a plan to post billboards of his picture nationwide.

“The search for Laurean is Earthwide,” Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown said Monday. “You’re never gone for good when law enforcement is after you.”


Inside St. Christopher Catholic Church in Vandalia, Ohio, about 10 miles north of Dayton, hundreds of friends offered prayers Monday for Lauterbach.

“This evening, we are suffering,” the Rev. Francis Keferl told a spillover crowd of more than 800 people.

'Determined to succeed'A table outside the sanctuary held family photos of Lauterbach as a young girl huddled with siblings on a couch and blowing out birthday candles.

Lauterbach’s mother, Mary, dabbed at her eyes during the 40-minute service. A congregant gave her a pink rose.

Mary Lauterbach has said the physical demands of the Marines appealed to her daughter, and that she liked boot camp. Her father, Victor Lauterbach, is an Air Force Reserve master sergeant, and the couple adopted Maria as a baby. They have four other children.

“She joined the Marine Corps for a big challenge,” said Marine Staff Sgt. Sam Mao, a recruiter in Huber Heights, where she joined the Marines in 2006. “She was determined to succeed.”


Suspect sighted?Lauterbach’s ATM card was found at a bus station in Durham, about 150 miles northwest of Jacksonville. Witnesses reported seeing his black four-door pickup truck in the Raleigh and Durham area, Brown said.

Other witnesses said they thought they saw him Saturday night at a bus station in Shreveport, La.

The FBI and United States Marshals are involved in the search for Laurean, who is expected to be charged with murder when he is arrested. The first billboards with Laurean’s photo went up in Columbus, Ohio, and others are expected in Tampa, Fla., and Las Vegas.



No comments: