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Volunteers continue search early Friday morning


By CJ Lotz




One week ago, Lauren Spierer’s friends were waking up to realize she never came home.

The junior was last seen Friday morning at 4:30, near the corner of 11th Street and College Avenue, according to what a friend of Lauren’s told the Bloomington Police Department.

Exactly a week later, volunteers roamed the streets Lauren is known to have walked late Thursday evening and early Friday morning.

“People are creatures of habit,” said Don Cranfill, volunteer and local resident.

At 2:30 a.m. on Friday, he and about 20 other volunteers sat outside the Copper Cup and Smallwood Plaza, the apartment Lauren never reached that morning.

The lobby of Copper Cup was lined with boxes of sunscreen, ponchos, clip boards and water bottles—the supplies of a search stacked away until more volunteers would arrive at 11 a.m.

Thursday night’s volunteers wanted to talk to anyone who was out socializing to tease out any details—no matter how small—about Lauren, the friends she was with, or anything suspicious.

Groups of four or five volunteers walked laps around the areas Lauren was known to have visited—Kilroy’s Sports bar, Smallwood apartment complex, Morton Street, an alley between the two, 11th Street and College Avenue.

They shined flashlights throughout a construction site at the northwest corner of 11th Street and College Avenue. The group talked to students sitting on their front porches and people out walking with friends.

“A week later, talking to them in this environment might jog their memory,” Cranfill said. “We’re searching for that needle in the haystack memory.”

At Kilroy’s Sports bar at about 2 a.m. (the same time a week ago Lauren was seen on cameras there) a few people lounged in low chairs and took off their shoes to play in the sand. An outdoor beach area included shallow pools and a bar.

It was quiet but for thumping music. Fliers explaining Lauren’s disappearance hung throughout the bar.

One employee said Lauren’s face looked familiar. He works Thursdays until close at 3 a.m., and he was working last week when Lauren visited. He said Kilroy’s Sports told all employees not to talk to the press.

Sports has two levels, a rooftop and an outdoor beach area, which were spotted with people, but not packed. Sports is one of Bloomington’s most popular bars.

A bouncer checked IDs as people trickled into the bar. He said summer nights at Sports are always quieter than those during the school year, even though there is no cover charge during the summer.

College Avenue was calm. The occasional group of bar-goers walked arm in arm between bars, Smallwood, and other apartments and houses.
BPD and IU Police Department cars patrolled the same streets Lauren walked on.


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