New details surface: The story of Lauren's night
By CJ Lotz
At a press conference this morning, BPD Lt. of Detectives Bill Parker said Lauren was hanging out with friends Thursday night, June 2. They were drinking at Kilroy’s Sports, a bar on the intersection of Eighth and Walnut streets, according to friends’ testimonies and Kilroy’s cameras.
Lauren left Sports with a friend at 2:30 or 2:40 a.m. She left behind her cell phone and shoes, Parker said. The items are in police custody. Lauren likely left her shoes because there is a fenced-in beach and sand area at the bar.
The two walked to Lauren’s apartment complex, Smallwood Plaza, but video cameras show she did not enter her apartment. The friends stayed inside the complex for a short time and then headed north to another friend’s apartment.
The two met up with friends at an apartment complex on the corner of 11th and Morton streets. Police found a small purse and keys that belong to Lauren along this route. Parker said he thinks Lauren left the items on the way to the apartment complex.
The two went into one apartment, then to another apartment a few doors down to hang out with some friends.
Around 4:30 a.m. Lauren told her friends she felt like heading home to Smallwood. A male friend watched Lauren leave the apartment. He saw her last on the corner of 11th Street and College Avenue, he told police. That male friend was the last person to see Lauren, Parker said.
Police are interviewing everyone Lauren was known to hang out with that night. Parker said police are focusing on about 10 people of interest, but they have no official suspects.
Parker said police are focusing on the areas Lauren visited early Friday morning. They are using K-9 units to search between the two apartment complexes. They have no leads to other counties, he said.
Foul play is possible, Parker said. He added that he has no reason to believe this case is connected to the September disappearance and murder of local resident Crystal Grubb.
The other searches around Bloomington and surrounding areas will continue, as organized by the Spierers and IU Hillel Center, police said. Volunteers can meet each day in front of Smallwood at 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to search.
Parker held up a sign with Lauren’s picture and said that although she has naturally blonde hair, her hair color could have been altered if she was abducted.
The BPD has received hundreds of tips and has put a system in place to process them, Parker said, adding that the department would follow up the tips locally and call on the FBI if tips have a national scope.
Lauren’s parents, Robert and Charlene Spierer, stood together at the press conference. Charlene wrapped her arm around her husband as Parker spoke. After the police statement, Robert walked to the microphones. He thanked local law enforcement, the Bloomington community, family and friends for their support.
“We ask that if anyone saw Lauren, with anyone, please share that information. It doesn’t matter how small it is,” he said. “Every little bit we get is important.”
Then he spoke about his daughter.
“Lauren is a child and person that is full of life, always on the go, fun to be with, and with a large circle of friends,” he said. “She’s very close to her mother. She spoke to her mother every day.”
Charlene stood behind her husband and bowed her head.
“We need everything we can get,” he said. “We are continuing in earnest every day. We are not going to give up. And that’s all I have to say.”