Search headquarters for missing student to close this week, police say

The BPD will now decide where to search exclusively based on tips and information that the police department receives rather than focusing searches in expansive areas.

BPD Capt. Joe Qualters said in a statement sent to the press that the McNutt Residence Center volunteer search headquarters will likely shut down as early as Wednesday evening.

Qualters said that volunteer searches have covered the vast majority of Monroe County, including very focused searches in areas within a five mile radius of where Lauren was last seen. Qualters said that most areas within a ten mile radius have also been searched.

While more than 600 people attended searches on last Saturday’s “Find Lauren Day,” Qualters said, the number of volunteers had dropped to about 20 per day during the week. Qualters said thousands of people have attended searches since Lauren went missing Friday, June 3.

BPD Chief Michael Diekhoff thanked volunteers for their efforts up to this point and said the change in search strategy will help the police to better focus their efforts.

“A great deal of credit also goes to Lauren’s parents for the thousands of people who have turned out for the searches simply because they wanted to help,” Diekhoff said.

— Zach Ammerman


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