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The Indiana Daily Student

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13 years since Lauren Spierer’s disappearance, police still investigating

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Monday marked 13 years since IU student Lauren Spierer went missing June 3, 2011. On a Facebook page run by Lauren’s family, the family wrote a post Monday in remembrance of Lauren and reflected on the “exhaustion” of Lauren’s unsolved case. 

The incessant state of not knowing is exhausting. Knowing that there is not a single piece of evidence is exhausting. Knowing that Lauren’s case hinges on hearsay is exhausting,” the family wrote.  

Lauren was last seen at 4:30 a.m. on June 3, 2011, walking south on College Avenue from 11th Street back to her apartment. On June 5, an initial search team went to her apartment, Smallwood Plaza, and local lakes. The next day, June 6, regular searches began three times a day. On June 13, the daily searches were reduced to twice a day and ended on June 29.  

Over the years, many possible leads ended up being dead ends. 

In the post, the family reiterated their continued commitment to Lauren’s case being solved. 

“I feel life is like a body of water,” the post read. “A rock thrown into a lake creates ripples. People who share their secrets create ripples in their lives. One of these days, one of those ripples will find its moral compass and come forward. I have to believe that will happen. When it does, it will be your turn to feel the exhaustion, the weight of what you did and what you have kept hidden all these years. Until that time, we remain committed to never giving up.”  

The Bloomington Police Department have investigated over 30 new tips and leads in Lauren’s disappearance in the past two years, according to an email statement from BPD Captain Ryan Pedigo.  

The investigation into Lauren's disappearance remains very active and is most certainly not a cold case,” Pedigo wrote.  

In the week leading up to the 13-year mark, the new book, “College Girl Missing: The True Story of How a Young Woman Disappeared in Plain Sight,” written by investigative journalist Shawn Cohen, was released May 28, according to a 13 WTHR article. 

The book shares new details on Lauren’s disappearance that may spark new leads in the investigation. Cohen told 13 WTHR the book includes new evidence and interviews with people vital to the case.  

According to the article, Cohen’s book questions if BPD were as thorough as they should have been with their interviews, specifically with the young men Lauren was with the night she disappeared.  

Investigators have continued to share information with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to find Lauren and who is responsible for her disappearance, Pedigo wrote. He added it’s important for BPD to follow the laws of the State of Indiana “to ensure a proper and legal investigation.” 

“We will not jeopardize the integrity of the investigation by taking shortcuts or utilizing inappropriate investigative techniques,” Pedigo wrote. 

Cohen and the Spierer family grew close since first meeting in the summer of 2011, and the family shared case files from their private investigator with him, according to the article and a post written by Lauren’s mother, Charlene Spierer, on the Facebook page run by Lauren’s family.  

According to the post, Cohen went to the Spierer family with the idea of a writing a book about Lauren’s disappearance. Initially, the relationship was a “contentious one,” but over the years it became clear they had the same goals.  

“I have come to trust that our missions to find Lauren, get answers and have justice served are aligned,” Charlene wrote.  

The family hopes the book helps uncover “first-hand information, facts not hearsay,” Charlene wrote in the post. 

“Thank you, Shawn, for using your skills as a writer, for being a reminder that there is a girl who seemingly did disappear in plain sight. A girl who is still missing, someone who knows the truth, a family who is still waiting,” Charlene wrote. 

BPD is hopeful the book may generate new leads and keep Lauren’s case in people’s minds, Pedigo said in the email.  

Though someone may think what they know about Lauren’s disappearance is small, it could be essential to solving her case, Pedigo wrote.  

13 years of June 3rd…. Lost but not forgotten. Always loved,” the family wrote in the June 3 Facebook post.  

According to Pedigo’s statement, people with information on Lauren’s disappearance are urged to reach out to the contacts listed below: 

Crime Stoppers: (317) 262-TIPS | (317) 262-8477 

BPD: 812-339-4477 

Detective Jeff Rodgers: rodgersj@bloomington.in.gov 

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