Police release footage of Lauren, vehicle from the night she disappeared
By CJ Lotz
The vehicle is a white four-door truck that is either a Chevy Silverado or Chevy Colorado. It has a short bed, bed liner and unidentified equipment in the bed. There appears to be writing on the side door and rear panels. Captain Joe Qualters said the truck has distinctive wheels.
At a press conference this morning, Qualters held up two pictures of the truck heading west on 10th Street toward Morton Street. It first appeared on video at 4:14 a.m. It then drove north on Morton and appeared again on video heading west on 10th Steet at 4:24 a.m., meaning it circled the block.
The times are what the video showed, and cannot be verified, Qualters said. He added that the constant motion of the vehicle meant the BPD could not capture a clearer picture.
“We are relying on clocks attached to video systems,” Qualters said. “They could have been set wrong... Let’s not get hung up on the time as if it’s exactly correct.”
Video footage shows the car did not stop at the stop sign on 10th Street, Qualters said. He explained that few cars travel that block at about 4:30 in the morning, around the last time friends of Lauren confirmed seeing her.
Qualters said there is “absolutely” a chance this vehicle is involved in Lauren’s disappearance.
“Because it circles the block,” he said. “We think it’s significant to us. That person may have some direct responsibility or that person may have information.”
With all the construction in the area, it’s possible the driver may not be from around Bloomington and may not have an indication the BPD has an interest in the truck, Qualters said.
BPD also released a photograph taken from a Smallwood video camera. It shows Lauren walking out of the apartment complex. Qualters said the photograph was taken before she joined friends at Kilroy’s Sports bar.
In it, Lauren is caught mid-stride. She’s wearing black leggings and a white V-neck loose T-shirt with mid-length belled sleeves. She appears to wear a watch or dark bracelet on her right wrist. She carries a white jacket or long-sleeved piece of clothing over her left arm.
She looks to be smiling and playing with her hair.
Robert Spierer, Lauren’s father, held up the picture of his daughter.
“It’s a fuzzy picture but you will see who Lauren is,” he said. “She’s a happy, smiling beautiful young lady on her way out for the evening to meet with friends. That’s the Lauren that we’re looking for.”
Qualters said the BPD is currently looking at more video footage of Lauren from that night, but would not release the video’s location or content. He said the BPD is able to identify who was with her in the footage.
“I can tell you that we have video that depicts Lauren in various locations and we aren’t in the position to tell you where it’s from,” he said.
Qualters commented on the various items of clothing — a piece of a black bra for instance — that searchers have found in the past week and a half of combing downtown Bloomington and surrounding areas.
“There have been a lot of articles of clothing that have been gathered up,” he said. “But I don’t think we have anything directly related to Lauren.”
The BPD will continue interviews with persons of interest, Qualters said. Police are also canvassing the neighborhoods and apartment buildings within a quarter-mile radius of Lauren’s last known location at College Avenue and 11th Street. They are asking questions of residents and conducting thorough searches, Qualters said.
Robert Spierer said searches at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. will continue despite today’s rainy weather. If searches are called off, he said, volunteers will be alerted.
He asked anyone who knows even a small detail about Lauren’s night, the truck of interest or anyone else involved in Lauren’s disappearance to contact the BPD at 812-339-4477. Calls can be anonymous.
“We miss her terribly,” Robert said. “She’s very dear to us. We love her very much. We want to get her back just to embrace her and tell her we love her.”
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