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IU student missing: Parents fly from New York to search for their daughter, Lauren Spierer


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By CJ Lotz




Lauren Spierer, a 20-year-old IU student, has been missing since 4:30 a.m. Friday.
The Bloomington Police Department, family, friends and local residents continue to search for her.

Spierer is 4 feet 11 inches tall, weighs between 90 and 100 pounds and has blue eyes and blonde hair just below the shoulder, according to fliers posted throughout Bloomington.

She is from Westchester County near Scarsdale, N.Y. and just finished her sophomore year at IU.

Spierer studies fashion merchandising and is a University Division scholar. She planned to stay in Bloomington for part of this summer to take a course at Ivy Tech Community College before starting an internship at the clothing store Anthropologie in New York City. Her parents and older sister live in New York.

Spierer was last seen walking south on College Avenue. She had been hanging out with friends at Kilroy’s Sports Bar. The bar features a sand and beach area, which may explain why she was seen walking away with no shoes, her mother Charlene Spierer said.

She was wearing a white tank top, a loose, light-colored button shirt and full-length black stretch pants.

Spierer’s apartment is only a block and a half away from Kilroy’s Sports, and the last place she was seen, the intersection of 11th Street and College Avenue, is another two and a half blocks away.

Her known locations are all within a three-block radius of her apartment. Video footage at the Smallwood apartment complex shows that she never made it home.

Robert and Charlene Spierer, Lauren’s parents, flew in from New York early Saturday morning.

They immediately contacted the Bloomington Police Department, filed a report and started printing fliers with their daughter’s smiling picture.

The police department told her parents they had custody of their daughter’s phone and wallet. There were conflicting reports stating the items were found in either her friend’s house or the bar. The Spierers stayed at a downtown hotel Saturday night.

At 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, a search group of about 20 friends and Bloomington residents met outside Smallwood Plaza.

In the group was an Eagle Scout, a local resident with his two small children and a rabbi.

Robert and Charlene handed everyone fliers and tape, then split volunteers into groups to search around lakes Monroe, Griffy and Lemon. Others drove throughout Bloomington, hanging up posters at businesses and handing out fliers.

The Spierers said BPD forces had already combed through nearby construction sites, apartment complexes and streets. The Spierers themselves had spent all day Saturday searching the blocks around Smallwood and Kilroy’s Sports.

Amanda Monacy, who also just finished her sophomore year at IU and knows Lauren from Smallwood, said she can’t believe someone could disappear on such a popular, well-lit street in Bloomington.

“It’s really scary,” she said. “People walk here all the time and don’t think twice. Something happened a block and a half away from home. That’s crazy. We’re all really shaken up by this.”

In the rented car driving toward Lake Monroe, the Spierers answered constant calls and text messages on their cell phones, gathering any information.

Charlene said Lauren suffers from Long QT syndrome, a heart condition that sometimes requires medicine.

Charlene said this condition makes it all the more important that anyone with information come forward, in case Lauren is somewhere she could not receive medical attention.

At about 11 a.m. they pulled off along a gravel road near Lake Monroe.They parked the car and trekked into the woods, walking separate ways to cover ground.

They screamed their daughter’s name for about 45 minutes, their words echoing through the woods. They came back to the car and honked the horn repeatedly.

Then they got back in the car and drove up to Boy Scout Camp Maumee. Cars pulled in as people who had heard the news wanted to help search.Even as rain started to sprinkle at 1:15 p.m., the volunteers mapped out a search plan.

They would cover as much territory around Lake Monroe as possible, hanging up fliers at all boat launches and ramps.

One man suggested they leave stick crosses at trailheads after they had already searched to avoid covering the same ground.At 3 p.m. the family decided to head back into town to meet with police.

Friends of the Spierers also created a Facebook account, “Lauren Spierer Missing” and a Twitter handle, @NewsOnLaurenS for anyone who wants to give or receive more information.

If you have any information regarding Lauren Spierer, contact the Bloomington Police Department at 812-339-4477.

SEARCH TIMELINE

Friday
Before 4:30 a.m. Lauren Spierer hangs out with friends at Kilroy’s Sports Bar and a friend’s party.

At 4:30 a.m. Spierer is seen near the intersection of 11th Street and College Avenue, walking south on College.

Video footage at the entrance of Smallwood Plaza that night shows she never made it home.

Saturday morning
Spierer’s parents fly into Indianapolis from New York after hearing their daughter is missing. They rent a car, drive to Bloomington, file a police report and begin combing the areas around Spierer’s apartment and Kilroy’s Sports. The Bloomington Police Department also starts searching with dogs.

10 a.m. Sunday
Volunteers gather outside Smallwood Plaza to create a search plan. Local residents, students, friends and family map a route to explore Bloomington and Lakes Lemon, Griffy and Monroe.

Sunday afternoon
The Spierers drive around Lake Monroe, stopping to search for their daughter. A caravan of cars drive together. At 4 p.m. The Spierers meet with BPD to discuss the next steps.

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This is a photo of Lauren Spierer who has been missing since 4:30 a.m. Friday. If anyone has information about Spierer, please call BPD. Courtesy photo Buy Photos
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Robert and Charlene Spierer listen to search supporters as they make plans before the search for their daughter, Lauren, on Sunday in front of Smallwood Plaza. Lauren Spierer has been missing since 4:30 a.m. Friday morning, when she was walking back to her apartment in Smallwood. Alex Farris Buy Photos
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Robert Spierer helps coordinate search plans during the search for his daughter, Lauren, on Sunday near the Paynetown State Recreation Area. Friends and others who said they wanted to help gathered at Smallwood Plaza at 10 a.m. Sunday to begin the search, which would spread into the areas around Lake Monroe, Griffy Lake and the Hoosier National Forest. Alex Farris Buy Photos
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Keenan (no last name given) gives suggestions to Robert Spierer on a map of Lake Monroe during the search for Spierer's daughter, Lauren, on Sunday in Camp Maumee in Hoosier National Forest. Keenan, who brought two children with him, was in front of Smallwood Plaza at 10 a.m. at the start of the search. He said he thought of what he would do if one of his children got lost, and said he wanted to do anything he could to help the Spierers. Alex Farris Buy Photos
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Robert Spierer and Keenan (no last name given) make plans to continue the search for Spierer's daughter, Lauren, on Sunday in Camp Maumee in Hoosier National Forest. Lauren Spierer was last seen at 4:30 a.m. Friday morning near 11th Street and College Avenue. Alex Farris Buy Photos

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