June 3 marks one year since Lauren Spierer disappeared. The 20-year-old Edgemont resident and Indiana University student was last seen in Bloomington, Indiana around 4:30am after a night out partying with friends. She was last seen wearing black pants, a white tank top and shirt. According to those with her that evening, Lauren was separated from her shoes and her phone at some point during the night.
It’s been a year without birthdays, holidays, family and friends for Lauren and a painful void for her family and friends.
The Bloomington Police Department say they have received over 2,600 tips on Lauren’s case. FBI, Indiana State Police, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (Team Adam) as well as civilian volunteers have all assisted in the search for Lauren. The Sycamore Ridge Landfill, which serves the Bloomington area, was checked for evidence between August 16th-26th.
According to Joseph Quartlers, the Bloomington Police captain who has been the press point of contact on the case, “The case of Lauren’s disappearance is still considered to be a very active investigation. Detectives remain assigned to the case with it being classified a “priority” case for them as it has since Lauren was reported missing. On average, two to three credible tips come in on a weekly basis and they can require extensive follow up by the investigators. “Credible” tips are determined by information that has obvious relevance or correlation to information already known to investigators.
In a statement sent out late last week timed with the one-year mark, Bloomington Police say:
The Bloomington Police Department continues to make inquiries on a variety of circumstances occurring in other jurisdictions. Inquiries have been made on approximately ten (10) unidentified bodies that have come to the attention of BPD over the course of the last year. Some of those bodies have been found in Indiana or in a contiguous state. Inquiries have been made on other missing person cases being investigated by other law enforcement agencies and on suspects arrested for serious violent crimes. Several individuals have been brought to our attention by other law enforcement agencies that may be familiar with the criminal tendencies of those in their communities who could be responsible for this type of incident. Inquiries such as those described will continue to be made if it appears that there is any potential to further this ongoing investigation. Hundreds of primary and secondary interviews have been conducted and investigators continue to make progress on many fronts.
As was stated in a previous release marking six months since Lauren disappeared, much has been done on this case and much continues to be done. That statement still holds true today. Some place significance on the date marking one year since Lauren disappeared, but the passing of time has not deterred the effort or commitment on the part of the Bloomington Police Department to provide answers to Lauren’s family and the Bloomington community.
The Bloomington police have looked into connections between Lauren’s case and the Michaela Shunick case. In that situation, 22-year-old Louisiana University college student “Mickey” Shunick went missing in the early morning hours of May 19th in Lafayette, Louisiana. Both women are blond and petite. According to Bloomington PD, “It should be noted that nothing of significance to the Spierer investigation came from the discussion held with police investigators in Louisiana.”
Police also looked into a possible link to Clyde Gibson, who has been arrested for two murders in New Albany, Indiana. At this time, officials say none of the information developed relates to Lauren’s disappearance.
This past Sunday, the Spierer family took to social media putting out a statement on the Facebook they made after Lauren disappeared called The Official Lauren Spierer Updates from Her Family. They wrote:
How to begin. A year ago, Lauren left Smallwood, walked a short distance to a friend’s apartment and as we all tragically know, the rest is history. Lauren’s story could be any young adult’s story on any college campus. We hope Lauren’s ending is never repeated. Here we are, one year after Lauren’s disappearance, knowing in this very instant, there are people who know where Lauren is. The cruelty is almost unbearable. Think about it….think about someone who means the world to you… .consider how you would feel if suddenly that person disappeared seemingly off the face of the earth. Think about how it would feel to wake up every single day knowing there is someone who could help you, give you answers and yet inexplicably refuses to do so. It is beyond comprehension. It is beyond “self preservation,” it is the conscious decision of someone, to destroy a family, every second of every minute of every hour of every day, over and over again for an indeterminate amount of time. It truly is, almost unbearable. I say almost, because we have an undying love for Lauren. Lauren is like a breath of fresh air, she is the bright spot in the day of those who know her. Lauren would never give up, she would fight for answers, she would be the loudest voice. We will never give up, we will fight for answers, and we will be her voice.
Rob, Charlene and Rebecca Spierer
Jen is a freelance journalist who has covered the economy and markets for over a decade at a major financial news outlet. She lives in Scarsdale with her husband and 2 children. Jen has yet to bake a successful batch of cookies.