New Spierer plea: "Don't be sorry, just start being honest"

Published:
Updated:

BLOOMINGTON - Indiana University student Lauren Spierer disappeared five weeks ago, but police say this is not a cold case.

Leads are coming in, her family remains hopeful and although volunteers are no longer searching, they'll be back together this weekend in Bloomington.

In a week with no public search, no press conference, no media blitz, tips to find Lauren Spierer remain strong. Two hundred new leads have come into the Bloomington Police Department this week alone. Plus, some were called into the former volunteer search headquarters.

"The phone for the operations center was actually just outside of my office and it's still been ringing this week with people who still had the phone number from last week," said volunteer search coordinator John Summerlot. "Things like, 'Hey did you check here?' or 'What about this location?'"

Total tips about the missing 20-year-old junior now number nearly 2,000.

"The types of leads run the gamut from someone who believes they have information, someone who heard something from someone else," said Bloomington Police Captain Joe Qualters. "Following those leads is very important to the investigation even if they don't come up with anything. What that does is let us know that is not an avenue that we need to pursue and allows us to focus on those areas that are more important or appear to have more relevance to our investigation."

This investigation has kept Lauren's parents in Bloomington for more than a month. For them, new leads bring new hope.

"You know one of those tips is going to be the right tip, so that's wonderful. It's very encouraging," said Lauren's mother, Charlene.

"This has been such a difficult case to put together, any little piece of information could be so helpful so it's great that people are coming forward. We're very appreciative," added Lauren's father, Robert.

At a final press conference last week, Robert Spierer called on the parents of Lauren's friends to help them "find their moral compass." Although her friends were questioned during the investigation, no one has been charged. Charlene Spierer expressed her disappointment in the lack of tips provided by her daughter's friends.

The family is still pushing for more information. So is a Twitter account dedicated to finding Lauren, which posted Friday, "Don't be sorry, just start being honest. It's not going to go away. The situation or the guilt. No one will know you called. 800-CRIMETV."

Several online sources are tracking the case, including the website Find Lauren.

"Somebody knows where Lauren is. And in all this goodness and all the support that we've had and everything, there's somebody out there that's just not coming forward," Charlene Spierer said.

Investigators say they've talked to many persons of interest, yet still are waiting to question others.

"We'll just see how the investigation plays out once we've had an opportunity not only to talk with them, but see how their version of events fits into the information that we have," Qualters said.

Meantime, the Spierers will host a reunion Saturday called "Laps for Lauren." It's a gathering on the IU campus for the thousands of volunteers who helped search for their daughter and kept the family strong.

"It's really just to bring everybody together so we can say thank you. We just can't thank them enough," Charlene Spierer said.

"It's just a wonderful thing to see people coming together, banding together, finding strength together and we're just so grateful," Robert Spierer said. "The human spirit is alive and well in Bloomington, I can tell you that."

An event called Laps for Lauren is being held Saturday, July 9th, to reunite any supporters and searchers who want to show their support for the Spierer family. The event is open to the public and runs from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at Woodlawn Field/Track on the IU campus.

Lauren's parents say that was her favorite way to exercise. They say if it were her friend missing, she'd be leading the charge on Saturday.

Related stories:

US Marshal's Office completes search of sex offenders near Spierer apartment

Lauren Spierer website relaunched