Day 4: More than 400 attend evening search for Lauren Spierer

POSTED AT 07:20 PM ON Jun. 7, 2011  (UPDATED AT 07:47 PM ON Jun. 7, 2011)


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The official count of those who signed in to help aid in the search for missing IU student, Lauren Spierer at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday was 431.

The search today was more organized than previous searches. Organizers divided Bloomington into segments where volunteers were sent. The evening search focused on areas within the Bloomington city limits. Earlier searches in the day focuses on Bloomington’s Cascade Park on the north side of Bloomington and the Bloomington Rail Trail on the south side of town.

Bloomington resident John Summerlot said he had been there all day helping. He divided volunteers into two different kinds of groups. The majority of the volunteers helped by searching for Lauren while a smaller number of groups helped pass out fliers. Volunteers who wanted to search then filed through one long line to get assigned their area to search by Summerlot. Soldiers in uniform helped hand out the fliers to volunteers to post in public places.

Organizers asked volunteers to not speak to the press, and to direct media questions to the police or to organizers.

Lauren’s parents, Charlene and Robert Spierer, jumped on top of a car at about 6 p.m. to shout thanks to the hundreds of people that had shown up. “Thank you, everyone, for continuing the search. Your efforts are greatly appreciated,” Robert said.

Charlene encouraged everyone to report any information that they might have about Lauren to the police, “no matter how insignificant the information you have is,” she said. She ended by saying that “somebody knows where Lauren is. Please, I’m begging. Bring Lauren home safely.”  

Both of Lauren’s parents had been searching all day and looked worn from the 90 plus degree heat. Robert had mud stains on his pants from previous searches but he and Charlene seemed energized.

Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hansen and Dean of Students Harold “Pete” Goldsmith were also in attendance, although they did not go on any of the searches. They had just met with Lauren’s parents, Hansen said, to discuss ways in which the University could help in the effort to find Lauren. They discussed having some of the campus service learning groups visit homeless shelters and other groups that might have seen something.

There will be more searches 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 8, leaving from Smallwood Plaza, 455 N. College Avenue. During a press conference Tuesday, Robert Spierer, Lauren’s father, said that there will be searches every day.


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