Laurean extradited back to NC

ONSLOW COUNTY, NC Cesar Laurean is currently being held in the Onslow County Detention Center. He was booked there on Friday around 9 p.m.

Laurean is charged with murder, financial card transaction fraud and obtaining property by false pretenses. He is being held without bond.

It was a year ago this month that Laurean was discovered in Mexico where he had been hiding for months after fleeing Onslow County. Laurean has been trying to stay in Mexico, but exhausted all of his appeals to fight extradition.

The Onslow Count district attorney said Laurean was processed in Florida on Friday and then was transported to the Onslow County Jail. Authorites said Laurean could have fought extradition to North Carolina, but if he did Governor Beverly Perdue would have had to get involved and request Florida send him here.

"The murder for which Laurean is accused was heinous and it has terrorized the minds of people in this community and across this nation," Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson said.

Laurean is accused of killing Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach and then fleeing the country. Authorities discovered her charred remains buried in Laurean's backyard near Camp Lejeune in January of last year.

Lauterbach, 20, was seven months pregnant when she was killed. She had accused Laurean of rape.

Lauterbach's family is relieved Laurean is finally being brought back.

"Justice should be served because this is really beyond our family's hands completely," said Maria Lautherbach's mother. "But I have every confidence in the legal system here that the right thing will happen, between the state of North Carolina and the Marines."/p>

After months on the run, FBI agents arrested Laurean last April in Mexico. They had tracked the Marine through communications with in family in the Jacksonville, NC area.

At the time, it was unclear how long it would be until he was brought back.

"Depending on whether or not Cesar Laurean waives extradition, this process could take a few days or a couple years," Hudson said.

But with Laurean back in North Carolina, Hudson says Laurean will make his first court appearance as soon as Monday. The time and location has not yet been determined.

Laurean's attorney said finally he will be able to start preparing a defense. He expects Laurean to plead not guilty.

According to the police department, Laurean is one of 18 individuals charged with murder awaiting trial in Onslow County.

Authorities say Laurean and his family will receive the same professional treatment by the Onslow County Sheriff and jail staff as other inmates and their families, with no exceptions.

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