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Mother of slain local Marine Maria Lauterbach to be honored for ‘survivorship, resilience’

Published: Wednesday, October 03, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

a photo of Mary Lauterbach  next to a photo of her daughter Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach who was killed in 2007 by a fellow Marine.
a photo of Mary Lauterbach next to a photo of her daughter Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach who was killed in 2007 by a fellow Marine.

The mother of a local Marine murdered more than a decade ago will be honored for her spirit and determination to make change.

Vandalia’s Mary Lauterbach, the mother of Maria Lauterbach, will receive the Marsha Froelich Survivor Award at the 16th annual YWomen Breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 11 at the Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St., Dayton. 

>> Lauterbach gives voice to slain daughter, works to change sexual assault law (June 10, 2010)

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Admission to the breakfast, one of YWCA Dayton’s largest fundraisers, is free, but there is a donation appeal. 

The Marsha Froelich Survivor Award honors women who “embody Froelich's spirit of survivorship, resilience and generosity,” the YWCA says. 

Froelich, YWCA Dayton vice president of development from 2000 to 2006, died in 2011.

During her life, the breast cancer survivor raised millions for local charities. 

>> RELATED: Local activist Marsha Froelich dies( Nov. 19, 2011)


Maria Lauterbach was 20 years old and eight months’ pregnant at the time of her murder. 

Fellow Marine Cesar Laurean was convicted of first-degree murder in Lauterbach’s death and is serving a life sentence without parole.

Lauterbach’s disappearance on Dec. 14, 2007 made national headlines. 

Her burned remains were discovered in a shallow fire pit in Laurean’s backyard in Jacksonville, N.C., on Jan. 11, 2008.

“Mary really turned that grief into passion for those who survive domestic violence and sexual assault,”  Audrey Starr, the director of marketing for YWCA Dayton, said. 

“What Mary has done these last 10 years is become this global domestic violence advocate,” Starr said.

YWCA Dayton is the only provider of a domestic violence shelter in Montgomery and Preble counties.

Before her death, Maria Lauterbach was denied a base transfer after accusing Laurean of sexual assault.

>> Lauterbach sexual assault case prompts policy reforms in military  (Dec. 25, 2011) 

After her daughter's death, Mary Lauterbach began to work to change military policy on sexual assault.

Among other things, she testified at hearings before the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs that became the basis for significant changes in the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

She has shared her daughter’s story around the world. 

>> RELATED:  Sexual assault legal loophole prevents victim military transfers, lawmaker says (May 01, 2018)

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