Bloomington to restore Spierer signs
By Megan Jula
If the night of June 3, 2011 had gone differently, missing IU student Lauren Spierer would be graduating next week with the class of 2013.
Instead, her family is still searching for answers about her disappearance.
A group of volunteers will be in Bloomington this weekend to hang posters seeking more information as the second anniversary of Spierer’s disappearance approaches.
The event “Putting Up More Posters 4 Lauren Spierer” will start 1 p.m. Sunday at the Monroe County Courthouse. Volunteers will receive posters and tape and be given a route to cover.
P.U.M.P. 4 Lauren Spierer has earned media attention and spread through Facebook.
“The hope is just to grab the attention of her class and the community,” said Shelly Leonard, the event organizer. “One last reminder before they leave. Hopefully, when they get home they might be compelled to say something they hadn’t before.”
Leonard has been supporting the Spierers since Lauren went missing. She met Lauren’s parents, Rob and Charlene, before a search for their missing daughter.
Once you talk to them, you are in it for the long haul, Leonard said.
“One of the things that Charlene said to me was that she was worried that people would start to forget about Lauren,” Leonard said. “I promised her right then that I would make sure people didn’t forget.”
She contacted Charlene earlier this year, asking if there was anything she could do around the time of what would have been Lauren’s graduation.
“I asked her about putting up a new poster,” Leonard said. “The old posters, we worried they just get overlooked and become part of the background.”
Jalen Faith, a homeschooler who will attend Indiana State University in the fall, has also worked for two years to ensure that Lauren is not forgotten.
He was in Bloomington the day Lauren was reported missing, and was impressed how quickly posters bearing her image were put up.
“I wanted to help out since it happened so close to home,” he said.
Since then, he spread the word of Lauren’s disappearance, including videos and a petition which garnered more than 5,000 signatures.
The P.U.M.P. event Sunday will be a message to the Spierers and Lauren’s classmates that the search continues, he said.
“I think it will just show students to never forget even though she can’t be at graduation,” Faith said. “We aren’t giving up. We are going to be here until we find answers.”
Leonard said she hopes the new posters encourage someone to come forward with new information.
“I hope that this draws people out and somebody talks,” she said. “The Spierers just want the truth.”