The mother of Lauren Spierer, an Indiana college student who vanished without a trace more than a year ago, told the person responsible in an open letter released Thursday that, "I hope with every breath you take, you remember Lauren."
In a letter addressed, "To Whom This May Concern," and published on the family's blog, Charlene Spierer said she has more questions than answers about her daughter's disappearance.
"Have we met? Time will tell. So many questions," she wrote. (Full Letter)
Lauren Spierer would be 21-years-old Friday. She was last seen around 4:30 a.m. June 3, 2011 just a few blocks from her Smallwood Plaza apartment in Bloomington. Earlier in the night, Spierer had visited Kilroy's, a nearby sports bar that closes at 3 a.m. When she left the establishment, she left behind her shoes and cellphone, police said.
After leaving the bar, Spierer reportedly went to fellow college student Corey Rossman's apartment before deciding to walk home. What happened to her after that remains a mystery. She was reported missing less than 12 hours later.
The Bloomington Police Department, Indiana University police, the Monroe County Sheriff's Department, Indiana State Police and the FBI have all searched for Spierer. But authorities say they do not know who is responsible for her disappearance.
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"Who are you? Did you go on any searches?" Charlene Spierer asks in her letter. "Maybe you were no longer in Bloomington as thousands helped look for Lauren. Did you use Lauren's disappearance to your advantage?"
Spierer wrote about the anxiety her family is experiencing as they wait for the identification of a skull that was found not far from where her daughter disappeared. "It could take as long as eight weeks. That's 80,640 minutes of agony," she explained.
Fishermen found the skull in the White River July 9 about 50 miles from Bloomington. Police divers searched the waterway for additional remains, but nothing was found.
A spokesperson for Bloomington police told The Huffington Post that the skull will be examined by a forensic anthropologist. The expert will work to determine the age, race, and gender, and whether the skull belongs to Spierer. The spokesperson confirmed the testing could take up to two months to complete.
There is, however, at least one person who already knows whether or not the skull could be Lauren Spierer's.
"I find it incomprehensible that if by chance you are reading this, you know the answer already," Charlene Spierer wrote. "I recently read that the White River is 362 miles long. I am guessing that if you placed Lauren in a body of water, the current could have relocated her to another area."
Authorities have not commented on whether there were any indications of external injuries to the skull.
This is also not the first time the Spierer family has waited for news on a potential match. In April, skeletal remains were found west of Bloomington, but experts ultimately determined the bones belonged to an unidentified male.
That month, Lauren Spierer's father, Robert Spierer, told the Journal News he is frustrated with the case and reached a conclusion about Rossman -- the student his daughter allegedly visited before she went missing.
"I think he's a liar and a coward," Robert Spierer told the Journal News.
Rossman's lawyer, Carl Salzmann, has said his client has no memory of his last moments with Spierer because he was punched in an altercation that evening.
Robert Spierer told the newspaper the memory loss claim was "laughable" and a "statement of convenience."
In her letter, Charlene Spierer mentions five men who hired attorneys after Lauren's disappearance, saying they have refused to cooperate with police and will not submit to polygraph tests.
"Five young men, five attorneys," she wrote. "I'm still not sure why they felt it was necessary. I know hiring an attorney is not an admission of guilt, however it leads me to believe there was something to hide ... I wonder if you are among those who continue to refuse to cooperate with the Bloomington Police Department. You can well imagine, a year later, those conducting the investigation have more questions which need to be answered. And yet those that could help refuse to do so."
Lauren's family members created and maintain a website called findlauren.com. They are offering a $250,000 reward for information that leads to finding their daughter.
"You may or may not be a parent," Charlene Spierer wrote. "Somehow I doubt that you are a parent. I guarantee you have no idea what it's like, waiting to find out if the remains recovered from any number of places are those of your child. I hope I am making you uncomfortable. I hope you have as many sleepless nights as I have. I hope that someday, your parents, your siblings, your friends will all be in a courtroom when your true self is revealed, the self which was born on June 3, 2011 when you took Lauren from us."
Lauren Spierer is described as a white female who is 4-feet-11-inches with a slender build, blue eyes and blond hair. She was last wearing a white tank top with a light-colored shirt over it and black stretch pants. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Bloomington Police at 812-339-4477.
To Whom This May Concern:
It sickens me to write to you once again, but I have no choice. Time continues to pass and I cannot let you forget about Lauren. Rebecca recently said she holds close those people who knew Lauren. I realized in that moment that our lives will be forever defined as the time before Lauren disappeared and the time after. Another thing you and I share, the before and the after. For me, living without Lauren, it's the little things in my day-to-day life which are the most difficult. The things that aren't mentioned. Getting mail addressed to Lauren, walking past her room just as she left it the last time she was home, still waiting for her return. The unpacked boxes I cannot bear to move. The notice Rob has hidden away among so many other pieces of mail, from the Department of Motor Vehicles. It's Lauren's. It arrived shortly before her 21st birthday. We try to shield each other from more pain. It is impossible to do.
On June 4, 2011, we were hoping for Lauren's rescue. That’s what the Bloomington Police Department was hoping for as well. As time passed, we were hoping for Lauren's recovery. Today we are waiting to find out if the remains found in the White River belong to Lauren. We wait along with other families of missing loved ones. It could take as long as eight weeks. That's 80,640 minutes of agony. We are waiting to find out if a skull found in the White River might be Lauren's. It's chilling to say the words. I find it incomprehensible that if by chance you are reading this, you know the answer already. I recently read that the White River is 362 miles long. I am guessing that if you placed Lauren in a body of water, the current could have relocated her to another area. I can't say that I have read anything about decomposition or what might happen to a body that has been in water for over a year. Though this past year has taught me things I never would have expected to learn, decomposition is one area I refuse to explore. Lauren's DNA and dental records are on file with CODIS. "CODIS is the acronym for the "Combined DNA Index System" and is the generic term used to describe the FBI's program of support for criminal justice DNA databases as well as the software used to run those databases. The National DNA Index System or NDIS is considered one part of CODIS, the national level, containing the DNA profiles contributed by federal, state, and local participating forensic laboratories." We continue to wait for the results from the Marion County coroner's office.
You may or may not be a parent. Somehow I doubt that you are a parent. I guarantee you have no idea what it’s like, waiting to find out if the remains recovered from any number of places are those of your child. I hope I am making you uncomfortable. I hope you have as many sleepless nights as I have. I hope that some day, your parents, your siblings, your friends will all be in a courtroom when your true self is revealed, the self which was born on June 3, 2011 when you took Lauren from us.
We were shocked when several people hired attorneys within days of Lauren's disappearance. Five young men, five attorneys. I'm still not sure why they felt it was necessary. I know hiring an attorney is not an admission of guilt, however it leads me to believe there was something to hide. Questions remain unanswered and law enforcement polygraphs remain untaken. We are still without Lauren. Did you hire an attorney? I wonder if you are among those who continue to refuse to cooperate with the Bloomington Police Department. You can well imagine, a year later, those conducting the investigation have more questions which need to be answered. And yet those that could help, refuse to do so. Who are you? Did you go on any searches? Maybe you were no longer in Bloomington as thousands helped look for Lauren. Did you use Lauren's disappearance to your advantage? Have we met? Time will tell. So many questions. I will never forgive those who could have helped and did not. Though I doubt my sentiments matter to you, I will never forget you for as long as I live. I hope that every time you look into a mirror you remember the choices you made on June 3, 2011. I hope with every breath you take, you remember Lauren.
We are grateful to all those who continue to make sure Lauren's tragic story stays alive. There are many who stand beside us in our quest for answers. No matter what happened on June 3, 2011, the fact that Lauren seemingly vanished into thin air is undeniable and for that you are responsible. I trust that Lauren will have her day and justice will be served. Until that time, we remain steadfast in our search for answers which will lead us to Lauren.
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