Hundreds of family members and friends gathered near Dayton, Ohio, today for the funeral of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, the pregnant Marine murdered in North Carolina in December. Marines carried her casket; a smaller one held the body of her unborn child, Gabriel. Some 200 members of a group called the Patriot Guard, veterans who ride their motorcycles to military funerals, stood at attention as the hearse arrived for the mass, the AP reports.
“We remember her athleticism and her competitive spirit. We remember that she wanted to serve her country as a Marine,” said a minister in the sermon. Lauterbach, 20, disappeared in December after accusing murder suspect Cesar Laurean of rape earlier last year; her remains and those of her baby were found buried in a fire pit in back of his house. Laurean is thought to have fled to Mexico.