Reward grows to $250,000 in Lauren Spierer case
The parents of Lauren Spierer, the Indiana University Bloomington student who went missing in June 2011, say the reward for information leading to her discovery has increased to $250,000.
The increase in the reward fund is the result of what the family calls an "extremely generous donation."
Rob and Charlene Spierer made the announcement on their website Friday.
"Anyone with information, that leads us to our daughter, will be eligible to receive the reward. You may contact Beau Dietl Associates at 1.800.777.9366 or the Bloomington Police Department at (812)339-4477," the family wrote.
"We remain dedicated to finding our daughter. We offer our sincere thanks for any information you can provide," they wrote.
The reward was also announced on New York television Friday by Dietl, the family's private investigators.
"We really feel as though we're going directly in on something like this reward out there we want to offer for any information to find Lauren," he said.
Eyewitness News reporter Jennie Runevitch spoke with Spierer's father by phone Friday.
"The generous offer came in from friends. I hope it will incentivize someone to give us information, come forward, tell us what they know," Rob Spierer said.
The family has made that plea since Lauren disappeared, convinced someone knows what happened that June night she disappeared.
Private investigator Tim Wilcox, who works missing persons cases, tells Eyewitness News the offering of such a large reward "probably" means the investigation has reached a dead end.
"In a cold case, after awhile, people start talking. Rumors, street information, people bragging," he said. "So police may not find someone who saw Lauren taken, but may now find someone who heard about it months later at a bar or party."
Wilcox says the large sum could be enough to convince someone with information to come forward.
"When you raise the stakes to $250,000, it may pay off a student loan, may change the lifestyle, it may get rid of their ethical perceived responsibility to the person who told him that," he said.
The Bloomington Police Department put out this press release:
"The Bloomington Police Department is aware that the family of Lauren Spierer is offering a reward for information that leads to her return and that hopefully leads to holding accountable anyone who may be responsible for her disappearance. The Department continues to actively investigate the case involving the disappearance of Lauren Spierer and requests that anyone with information contact the Bloomington Police Department at 812-339-4477."
All information submitted that has a direct impact relative to finding Lauren Spierer will be evaluated. Information that is deemed credible and helps result in the resolution of this case will be awarded to the appropriate individuals from the total reward amount of $250,000.