Father of missing IU student reiterates message to students
A record number of Excise Police citations on the Indiana University campus spurred a message for other students from the father of a missing student.
Robert and Charlene Spierer are in Bloomington to continue their search for answers for their daughter, 20-year-old Lauren Spierer, who went missing last June. The interviews are not easy for Robert Spierer, coming back to the campus where his daughter should have been finishing her junior year, is another moment in despair.
"You would expect it would have an effect on people and hopefully it will have a positive effect on people, change someone's attitude about what they are doing," he said.
After a night out with friends, Lauren was last seen early in the morning of June 3 last year, without her shoes or her cell phone. What happened to her is still a mystery. Her father has not noticed many changes around IU since his daughter's disappearance.
"It is hard to expect that instant maturity of someone when something bad happens in the community. I think people still believe that it happens to somebody else and it wouldn't happen to them," Spierer said.
Indiana Excise Police officers wrote a record number of tickets over the weekend, more than 250 citations issued, most for illegal possession and consumption of alcohol or public intoxication. Police say they are still amazed at the number of students out alone after dark and often times intoxicated.
That is something the Spierers witnessed weeks after Lauren disappeared.
"There were a number of people that came up to us in the months after Lauren's disappearance and told us that they changed their habits, they had changed their behavior," Robert Spierer said. "Their children and their teenage children had come to them and spoke with them and they had some open discussions about what the kids were doing and they had changed their behavior."
Lauren's father says he is saddened by the death of another young woman on campus this weekend, and hopes students will learn that parties where large quantities of alcohol or drugs are consumed can have devastating consequences.
Alcohol may have been a factor in the death of 20-year-old Linden Whitt, a sophomore from Mishawaka. She died Saturday after falling from an off-campus apartment deck and sustained a neck injury on Friday. Twenty-year-old Joseph Lao told police he had been drinking vodka when he and Whitt fell over the balcony railing and he landed on top of Whitt.
Spierer says fellow students need to be aware of the consequences of their actions, "No one is saying that you shouldn't have fun, that you shouldn't enjoy yourself -you should," Spierer said Sunday. "You're here. You're young, These are the best years of your life. But, just apply some common sense."
Whitt's death Saturday came during the culmination of Little 500 weekend.