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Entries in Lauren Spierer (14)

Monday
Dec032012

Lauren Spierer’s Parents: ‘Stonewalled’ by Last People to See Her

ABC News; Courtesy Rebecca Lefkowitz(NEW YORK) -- Missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer’s parents said Monday that they do not believe their daughter’s disappearance was a “random abduction.” They slammed the male friends of their daughter who, they said, were the last to see her before she vanished.

“We have these boys that were there that night that clammed up, shut down, lawyered up,” Spierer’s father, Robert Spierer, said Monday on Katie.

He said it was, “very frustrating as the parent of a missing child” to have people who were there the night Spierer disappeared, but have made the sharing of information “impossible or extremely difficult.”

Spierer, 21, vanished on June 3, 2011, after a night out with friends in Bloomington, Ind. The  Indiana University student is 4 feet 11 inches tall, and weighs less than 100 pounds. She has blond hair and blue eyes.

“I’m frustrated and I’m angry at this point. We’ve been stonewalled, to some extent, by the last people to see Lauren, and despite their claims of doing whatever they could do, the fact of the matter is they refused to meet with us except for one of the boys,” Robert Spierer said.

Most of the men refused to take police polygraph tests and instead took “independent polygraphs.”

Eighteen months later, the family is still looking for answers.

Lauren’s mother, Charlene Spierer, tearfully recalled that how the last time she saw her daughter was when she went home to surprise her for Mother’s Day.

“She’s just a great girl, she’s very outgoing and friendly and loving…great sense of humor, would do anything for a friend. She just loved life,” Charlene Spierer said. “It’s painful every single day.”

When asked if any new information on Lauren’s case has been learned, Charlene Spierer said, “I don’t think we’ve discovered the right information because we still don’t have Lauren.”

“I truly don’t think it was a random abduction,” she said. “I think that somebody that Lauren knew was responsible for the events of that evening.”

Since Lauren’s disappearance, multiple discoveries of remains have been reported. All turned out to be false alarms.

“I know that the likelihood is remote and I understand that, but there is some part of me, because we have not found her, [that] leaves me with the slimmest of hopes,” Robert Spierer said.  “We simply don’t know what happened to our daughter.”

Police say the search for Spierer is still an active investigation. The Spierer family has retained its own private investigators to follow up on tips and leads.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug032012

Skull Found in River Being Matched to Missing Student's Dental Records

ABC News/Rebecca Lefkowitz(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) -- The family of missing Indiana University college student Lauren Spierer could know in a matter of days if a skull found 60 miles from where she disappeared belongs to the college student.

As she waits for word on the fate of her daughter, Charlene Spierer issued an open letter to those responsible for Lauren's disappearance.

"To Whom This May Concern: It sickens me to write to you once again, but I have no choice," Spierer wrote. "Time continues to pass and I cannot let you forget about Lauren."

The Spierers have frequently posted messages and blogs, appealing to the unknown person who they believe abducted their daughter. Spierer, 21, vanished on June 3, 2011, after a night out with friends at a sports bar in Bloomington, Ind.

Last month, a fisherman found a skull in White River, under the Raymond Street Bridge, about 60 miles from where Spierer was last seen. The Bloomington police called the Spierer family to tell them about the finding, according to ABC News' Indianapolis affiliate WRTV. Divers searched the river for additional remains but did not find anything else.

The skull has been sent to a forensic anthropologist, who will try to determine its gender, age and race. A tooth will be extracted from the skull to see if it matches with Spierer's dental records, which are on file in a national database, Charlene Spierer said.

"We wait along with other families of missing loved ones. It could take as long as eight weeks. That's 80,640 minutes of agony," Spierer wrote. "I hope I am making you uncomfortable. I hope you have as many sleepless nights as I have. I hope that someday, your parents, your siblings, your friends will all be in a courtroom when your true self is revealed."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul162012

Skull Found: Lauren Spierer’s Family Waits for Answers

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) -- The family of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer is anxiously waiting to learn if a skull found about 60 miles from where Spierer was last seen could be hers.

“In the days ahead, a family will have answers they have been desperately seeking. Will it be ours?” the Spierer family posted on its Facebook page Saturday.

Spierer, 21, vanished on June 3, 2011, after a night out with friends in Bloomington, Ind. The Indiana University student is 4 feet 11 inches tall, and weighs less than 100 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes.

Over the past year, the Spierer family has experienced similar “finds,” which turned out to be false alarms.

A fisherman found the skull in White River, under the Raymond Street Bridge, about 60 miles from where Spierer was last seen.

The Bloomington police called the Spierer family to tell it about the finding, according to ABC News’ Indianapolis affiliate WRTV. Divers searched the river for additional remains, but did not find anything.

The skull has been sent to a forensic anthropologist, who will try to determine its gender, age and race. The testing could take six to eight weeks, according to WRTV.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep052011

Lauren Spierer's Mother Releases Letter to Daughter's Abductor

Blair Wallach(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) -- In a chilling letter addressed "To whom this may concern," Charlene Spierer speaks directly to those responsible for the disappearance of her daughter, Lauren Spierer, three months ago.

Lauren Spierer, 20, was last seen on June 3 leaving a sports bar in Bloomington, Ind., where she was a student at Indiana University. Classes have started again at IU, and Charlene recalls in the letter the excitement her family felt last year as Lauren began her freshman year.

But, she writes, "this year is considerably different. We packed and shipped all of Lauren's things home. 19 boxes. ... I won't go into the details of what it was like to pack Lauren's things. I will just tell you it was excruciating."

The investigation into the disappearance of the petite fashion major has taken many turns, yielding thousands of tips and at least 10 persons of interest.

In the weeks immediately after she went missing, some of Lauren's friends came under scrutiny for not coming forward voluntarily to provide information to the police.

There was speculation that Spierer may have overdosed on cocaine, and those with her panicked and disposed of her body. One month after she went missing, a body turned up in an Indiana creek, but it was later determined that it was not her.

"Much has happened over the past three months. I won't bore you with the details, if you've even gotten this far in reading this letter. I will say we have had the support and guidance of a multitude of people which has helped keep us going," Charlene writes in the letter published on a website dedicated to providing news on Lauren.

Charlene and her husband, Robert, are offering a reward of $100,000 for information that leads to finding their daughter.

Search efforts are ongoing in Bloomington, and a Facebook page, Twitter feed, website and blog continue to offer updates on the investigation, as well as pleading with the public to help find Spierer.

"If you think for a minute, her father and I are going to disappear, think again. We are just as determined today as we were day one," Charlene Spierer writes. "Do you think this is a game? This is no game. We are in this for the long haul ... we will NEVER give up."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul052011

Indiana Body Not Missing College Student Lauren Spierer

Blair Wallach(INDIANAPOLIS) -- The body found in an Indiana creek Sunday is not that of missing college student Lauren Spierer, the Marion County Coroner's Office in Indianapolis said Tuesday.

"It appears as though this is an African-American female and not that of Lauren Spierer," Chief Deputy Coroner Alfie Ballew said.

A forensic pathologist and forensic anthropologist have determined that the "physical structural characteristics" of the body, including bone structure of the face, dental structure of the mouth and hair on the head, indicate that the body does not belong to Spierer.

The autopsy is ongoing and the coroner's office will work with the Indianapolis Police Department to determine the victim's identity and cause of death. While the process, which will involve microscopic sampling, might take up to several weeks, the cause of death might never be determined.

The body was discovered Sunday night at Fall Creek, located about 65 miles north of Bloomington, Ind., where missing Indiana University student Spierer was last seen June 3.

Witnesses reportedly spotted the body floating in the water at the creek's edge just before 7 p.m.

"Once we find out who she is, then we can backtrack and try to determine the events that led to her demise," said Kendale Adams, Indianapolis police public information officer to ABC's local affiliate WRTV.

Spierer was last seen at 4:30 a.m. at the intersection of 11th street and College Avenue, walking home to her apartment after a night out at Kilroy's Sports Bar and, later, a friend's party. Surveillance footage from her apartment at Smallwood Plaza shows that she never returned home. The last trace of the missing student was her keys, found one block away from where she was last seen.

Police in Bloomington have named 10 persons of interest in their ongoing investigation, including Jesse Wolf, Spierer's boyfriend who first reported her disappearance, and Jason Rosenbaum, the last person to admit seeing Spierer.

Sunday marked one month since the 4-foot-11, 95-pound fashion major disappeared.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul042011

Body of Dead Woman Found in Indianapolis Creek

Comstock/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Indianapolis police are investigating the death of a woman, whose body was found in a creek on the northeast side of the city on Sunday night.
 
The location, Fall Creek, is about 65 miles north of Bloomington, Ind., where missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer was last seen on June 3.

Witnesses saw the body floating in the water amid some debris just before 7 p.m., according to local reports.

Police say they cannot provide even a basic description of the body, which was badly decomposed.

"We're not able to determine any type of identity, not even a race at this point, because the body is so decomposed," Kendale Adams, Indianapolis police public information officer, told ABC News affiliate WRTV. "Once we find out who she is, then we can backtrack and try to determine the events that led to her demise."
 
Bloomington police are in contact with the homicide detectives investigating the case, according to a spokeswoman, and the Marion County Coroner's Office will conduct an autopsy Tuesday morning.
 
Spierer disappeared a month ago after a night out with friends at Kilroy's Sports Bar in Bloomington. No arrests have been made in the case, but DNA samples have been gathered from several people thought to have been among the last to see her.

At a July 1 press conference, Spierer's parents urged their daughter's friends to share information that could help in the search for the missing 20-year-old.

"I want to say to the person who has Lauren or has harmed Lauren: Shame on you! In relationship to that, the person who knows this person who's not coming forward with the information, I beg you to come forward," Charlene Spierer said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun282011

Last Person to See Missing Lauren Spierer Denies Lack of Cooperation

Blair Wallach(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) -- Twenty-year-old Jason Rosenbaum has become the center of attention in the search for missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer. Rosenbaum was the last person to admit seeing Spierer before she disappeared in the early hours of June 3.

So eyebrows rose when Rosenbaum hired a high-profile Indianapolis lawyer and reports surfaced that he had left his Bloomington condo in the middle of search efforts.

However, Rosenbaum's attorney, James Voyles, is denying speculation about his client's less-than-forthcoming behavior.

Voyles released a statement Monday afternoon declaring his client's cooperation: "Mr. Rosenbaum has fully cooperated with the investigation of the disappearance of Lauren Spierer and will continue to do so. He has provided full statements to the police and passed a polygraph that has also been provided to authorities. Mr. Rosenbaum hopes for nothing less than Lauren to be found and to be safe."

Voyles did not respond to messages left inquiring whether his client had submitted DNA samples or why Rosenbaum felt the need to get a lawyer.

Rosenbaum is one of at least ten persons of interest in the case. Others include her boyfriend, Jesse Wolff, and fellow students David Rohn, Corey Rossman and Mike Beth. DNA samples have been collected from some of the persons of interest, according to the Bloomington police department.

At a press conference last week, Bloomington Police Capt. Joe Qualters said, "Nobody that has been mentioned in this investigation has been cleared."

The search for Spierer has had an enormous social media presence, and this continued with reports about Rosenbaum. People on Twitter have been demanding that Rosenbaum speak and be investigated, and a blog called "Jay Rosenbaum Needs To Talk" has been created.

All of this comes after police and Spierer's family publicly expressed frustration last week at the lack of information from Spierer's friends.

Capt. Joe Qualters said the words "perplexing," "curious" and "disturbing" might be the adjectives chosen to describe Spierer's friends' behavior. "All in all, I think I'd probably characterize it as unfortunate," Qualters said.

Last Saturday was "Find Lauren Day" in Bloomington and more than 500 volunteers came out to search for the missing student, but no new information was reported.

A $120,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to Spierer. Her parents are offering $100,000, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is offering $10,000, and Spierer's apartment complex is offering $10,000.

The petite blonde is 4'11" and weighs less than 100 pounds. She has been missing for 25 days after a night out with friends in Bloomington.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun242011

Frustration with Silent Friends in the Search for Lauren Spierer

Blair Wallach(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) -- The search for missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer ended its third week with the lack of information from her friends as a main point of interest in the case.

Only one of her friends voluntarily came forward to share information in the investigation, police have said. The others had to be tracked down by investigators.

Three weeks ago Friday, the 20-year-old disappeared after a night out with friends in Bloomington, Ind.

City police have acknowledged investigating speculation that Spierer may have overdosed on cocaine and that the men with her might have panicked and disposed of her body. In a Monday press conference they said that was just one theory in the case.

At Friday's news conference, Capt. Joe Qualters said the words "perplexing," "curious" and "disturbing" might be the adjectives chosen to describe Spierer's friends' behavior. "All in all, I think I'd probably characterize it as unfortunate," Qualters said.

"I am extremely disappointed by the fact that only one of Lauren's friends has called the Bloomington Police Department with any information," Spierer's mom Charlene Spierer at Thursday's press conference.

"Why?" Charlene Spierer asked, "I guarantee you Lauren would have been the first to call."

Qualters said Friday that 1,500 tips, 175 items of evidence and over 300 hours of video have come in since the beginning of the investigation and that the relevance of these items continues to be evaluated. At least 10 persons of interest have also been named and no one has been cleared.

But when a reporter asked if the police have a better idea Friday of what happened to Spierer than three weeks ago, Qualters replied simply, "No."

Qualters drew attention to a new poster behind him and announced that Saturday is "Find Lauren Day," an effort to draw more search volunteers and dedicate a full day to the search.

The captain also said that Friday would be the last of the daily press conferences. In the event of big news, he will call the media back or send out press releases. He emphasized that the outward appearance of drawing back on the investigation doesn't mean they are not still working hard on it.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun142011

Search for Missing Indiana University Student Goes Viral

Courtesy Blair Wallach(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) -- A new poster has been released in the search for missing 20-year-old Indiana University student Lauren Spierer.  While the poster includes the typical photo, physical description and contact information, it also has a more unusual feature.

Beside Spierer's photograph is a QR barcode, a square black and white barcode that can be photographed with a cellphone application that then takes you to a website.  In this case, it's the official Find Lauren website run by her family.

This is just the latest in a search effort that has utilized multiple forms of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, websites and an upcoming blog.  Each of these has both "official" accounts coming from friends and family and "unofficial" pages run by other supporters.

The NewsOnLaurenS Twitter account has over 19,000 followers to date.  The account sent out a tweet on Tuesday that read, "WOW! We have followers averaging 34 tweets per minute! Thank you for doing all you can virtually to get out Lauren's information!!"

The account is constantly tweeting and even live tweets the daily press conferences with Spierer's family and the Bloomington Police Department, sending bite-sized news updates into the digital universe.

Spierer's best friends Blair Wallach and Becca Lefkowitz were among the first to start tweeting when the young woman disappeared on June 3 at around 4:30 a.m.

The Spierer family's Facebook page, "Official Lauren Spierer Updates From Her Family," has over 18,000 "likes" on Facebook.  The family posts several times a day on this page.

The buzz created by family, friends and supporters helped get the case a two-minute segment on America's Most Wanted on Saturday night, after which the Bloomington police received dozens of tips from viewers.

Many of Spierer's friends have taken to tweeting celebrities, in hopes that they will re-tweet the message and photos to their millions of followers.  And they have.  Personalities from Ryan Seacrest to Anderson Cooper and Lady Gaga to Kim Kardashian have all re-tweeted.

According to Trendsmap.com, a website that tracks searches and Twitter mentions around the world, the #FindLauren hashtag on Twitter, which connects all the similar tweets, has been trending in the United States, England, Japan and India, among other countries.

Spierer disappeared 11 days ago after a night out with friends at Kilroy's Sports Bar in Bloomington.  No arrests have been made in the case but police have identified 10 persons of interest.  DNA samples have been gathered from several of these people who were allegedly among the last to see Spierer.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun132011

Missing Indiana Student's Mom Makes Emotional 'Mother's Plea'

Courtesy Blair Wallach(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) -- Missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer's mother sent a pointed message Sunday: "I want to say to the person who has Lauren or has harmed Lauren: Shame on you!  In relationship to that, the person who knows this person who's not coming forward with the information, I beg you to come forward."

In the 10 days since Spierer, 20, has been missing, her father Robert Spierer has been the main public voice of the family, but a visibly distressed Charlene Spierer spoke passionately at news conferences in Bloomington, Indiana on Saturday and Sunday.

"I am here for you 100 percent," Charlene Spierer said to her daughter.  "I will never leave you.  I love you with all my heart, and I need you back."

Making a "mother's plea" on Saturday, Charlene Spierer said, "I'm not comfortable with this, but I just want to say that as I travel throughout Bloomington, Lauren is with me everywhere.  She's here.  I go down Kirkwood, I see her, I hear our conversations.  I step on the IU campus, I see her, I hear our conversations.  She's everywhere here to me, she's everywhere, but she's nowhere.  Somebody knows where she is.  She's somewhere."

America's Most Wanted aired a two-minute segment Saturday night on Spierer's disappearance and Bloomington Police Department Capt. Joe Qualters said 30 to 40 tips were received after the show and they are expecting more.

"We are very hopeful we'll finally get that phone call to find Lauren," Qualters said.

Qualters also revealed that it was Spierer's longtime boyfriend who reported her disappearance to the police on the afternoon of June 3.

Police have called Spierer's boyfriend one of 10 persons of interest, but Hadad Tamir, Spierer's roommate, said the couple has a loving relationship.

"He really cares about her," Tamir said. "Lauren was his life, his number one priority.  He would never do anything to hurt her."

Spierer disappeared after a night out with friends at Kilroy's Sports Bar in Bloomington.  No arrests have been made in the case.  DNA samples have been gathered from several of these people who were allegedly among the last to see Spierer.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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