Rep. Mike Turner: Marine Corps Response Shows Lack Of Urgency For Maria Lauterbach

Published: Thursday, April 10, 2008 @ 10:23 AM
Updated: Thursday, April 10, 2008 @ 10:26 AM

Congressman Michael Turner received responses to 29 questions he transmitted to General James T. Conway, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, on behalf of the family of murdered Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach.

Rep. Turner, who represents Vandalia, Ohio, the hometown of the Lauterbach family, has met with family members since attending the funeral of Maria Lauterbach in February.

At the request of Mary Lauterbach, the mother of LCpl Maria Lauterbach, Congressman Turner requested answers from the U.S. Marine Corps about the handling of the murder and rape investigation by Marine officials.

In a letter dated March 31, 2008, Lieutenant General R. S. Kramlich, Director of Marine Corps Staff, submitted responses to Congressman Turner’s initial inquiry.

"After nearly three weeks, the Marine Corps submitted a lengthy response to the original questions I submitted on behalf of the Lauterbach family. Unfortunately, the response from General Kramlich demonstrates that the actions taken by the Marine Corps to protect LCpl Maria Lauterbach were totally inadequate," Congressman Turner said.

Congressman Turner cited several examples of what he calls “a lack of urgency in the Marine Corps response to Maria Lauterbach’s plea for help” including: The Marine Corps delay of 7 days to begin an investigation into Maria Lauterbach’s rape allegation against Cpl Laurean;

The Marine Corps acknowledged an assault on LCpl Lauterbach and vandalism to her car but took no further action to protect her from harm;

The ongoing 7 month investigation into the rape allegation which led to little action and the first formal Article 32 hearing scheduled days after Maria was murdered;

The details which went unreported to the Marine Corps chain of command at Camp Lejeune, NC regarding the disappearance of Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child for as much as three weeks.

"You get the very tragic sense that Maria Lauterbach felt alone. Her behavior between May and December should have been recognized by the Marine Corps as that of a rape victim. Today, even as we know the fate which has befallen Maria, the Marine Corps continues to defend its actions rather than examine what decisions could have prevented this tragedy. Maria Lauterbach’s case highlights the need to elevate the protection accorded to female military personnel who file claims that they have been sexually assaulted and raises serious questions about the procedures that the military has in place for responding to sexual assault claims," Rep. Turner said.

On May 11, 2007, Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach filed a claim that fellow Marine Corporal Cesar Laurean had sexually assaulted her on the base of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. On or about December 14, 2007, LCpl Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child, Gabriel Joseph, were murdered and buried in a shallow grave in the backyard of the home of Cpl Laurean.

U.S. Navy sailor sketched Pearl Harbor attack before he was killed in action

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 8:40 AM

VIDEO: Sailor Sketched Pearl Harbor Attack Before He was Killed in Action

Leonard Franklin Tomlinson lived and served in an age before social media, and the image he left behind is less ephemeral and certainly more meaningful than the slew of selfies we all serve up today.

>> PHOTOS: 'December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy'

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Boy exchanges prized Christmas gift to help homeless 

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 8:46 AM

Boy Gives Up Game Console To Help Those In Need For Holidays

An Xbox is tops for many gamers’ holiday wish lists. 

Mikah Frye was no different, until he noticed homeless people outside during the cold Ohio weather.

His grandmother said he asked what homeless people do when it’s cold outside. So he came up with an answer: giving those who needed them a blanket to stave off the chill, WJW reported.

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But he needed to find out how to pay for the gifts.

His grandmother suggested he give up one gift to help warm the homeless.

“He later said if the Xbox is $300, and the blankets are $10 then I can buy 30 blankets,” Mikah’s grandmother, Terry Brant,  told WJW.

Mikah’s family found themselves in a similar situation a few years ago. They had some financial difficulties and lost their home and had shelter thanks to the Access program, WJW reported.  

So far more than 60 blankets have been donated and have started to be given out to families in need. Each one has a message from Mikah that says, “They gave me a blanket, but I had to leave it. That’s why I want you to have your own blanket.”

He ends his note with “Today, I live in my own house, and someday you will too. Your friend Mikah.”

And while Mikah gave up his dream of an Xbox for those who need help, WJW reported that “Santa” is still trying to get the video game for the selfless child.

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 23: Guests get to check out the new Xbox One at the Microsoft Store with Chicago Bulls Legend Scottie Pippen at The Shops at North Bridge on November 23, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Microsoft)(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Microsoft)

Fire department recreates adorable holiday card one year later

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 11:54 AM

FiredogPhotos via iStock
FiredogPhotos via iStock

A fire department in Oklahoma is warming hearts again with their special holiday card.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Last year, the Durant Fire Department went viral with their 2016 holiday card, which featured children of the firefighters.

Six of the station’s 33 firefighters welcomed new babies within six months of each another.

This year, the department decided to keep the tradition going with an “updated” photo.

Babies Ava, Owen, Nash, Mitchell, Gus and Brevyn donned matching outfits on their fathers’ firetruck.

Gus’ mother, Shembra Wilson, told ABC News, “It was a lot harder this year because they’re more mobile. We’re all jumping up and down acting like morons to get the shot and they’re looking at us like, ‘What in the world?’”

The department has decided to continue the tradition annually “to watch them grow.”

Firefighters Set Up Adorable Shoot for Holiday Card

Five tips to keep your holiday packages safe from porch pirates

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 11:55 AM

How to Avoid Package Theft

Online shopping has made life easier for a lot of us and is especially handy during the holidays, but it’s also created more opportunities for thieves to prey on parcels left on our doorsteps.

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So beware the so-called porch pirates. They count on our being lax, but a little preparation can help thwart their plans and leave them empty-handed, said Gary Miliefsky, CEO of SnoopWall , a company that specializes in cybersecurity.

“A more sophisticated porch pirate might send you an SMS message or email with malware,” Miliefsky said. “That would let them gain access to your computer or smartphone, and they could install a RAT (Remote Access Trojan). Then, they can eavesdrop on your orders and deliveries.”

They also might be able to locate you through the geolocating feature on your phone, he said. That would tell them when you are away from home, providing the final link in their well-laid plan.

Police tell us thieves mark their calendars with notes that say such things as  "Package theft Wednesday."

“If they know you aren’t home and that a package is scheduled for delivery, it’s going to be easy for them to steal it,” Miliefsky said.

There are, however, ways around even cybercriminals. Miliefsky offers these tips for outwitting porch pirates and keeping packages safe:

• Get permission to ship all your packages to work. That way, they aren’t left unguarded at your doorstep for hours while anyone walking by could snatch them. If this arrangement works out, be sure to tell all your friends and family members to ship packages to your work address.

• Ask a friend or neighbor to receive your packages for you. You might not be home on workdays, but plenty of people are. Trusted friends who are retired or who work at home might be happy to let you have packages delivered to them for safekeeping.

• If a neighbor can’t receive your packages and you can’t get them at work, another option is available. Miliefsky suggests trying Doorman, a service that lets you arrange for a package to be held at a warehouse until you arrive home. Then you can arrange delivery for evening hours that better suit you.

• Disable geolocation on your smartphone so that thieves – or other hackers, for that matter – can’t track your location. There’s no need to make it easier for them.

• Set up a live recording video camera aimed at your porch. That could allow you to spot a theft as it happens and alert law enforcement officials, or at least provide you with video that might help identify the thieves.