June 24, 2011 — -- The search for missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer ended its third week with the lack of information from her friends as a main point of interest in the case.
Only one of her friends voluntarily came forward to share information in the investigation, police have said. The others had to be tracked down by investigators.
Three weeks ago today the 20-year-old disappeared after a night out with friends in Bloomington, Ind.
City police have acknowledged investigating speculation that Spierer may have overdosed on cocaine and that the men with her might have panicked and disposed of her body. In a Monday press conference they said that was just one theory in the case.
At today's news conference, Capt. Joe Qualters said the words "perplexing," "curious" and "disturbing" might be the adjectives chosen to describe Spierer's friends' behavior. "All in all, I think I'd probably characterize it as unfortunate," Qualters said.
"I am extremely disappointed by the fact that only one of Lauren's friends has called the Bloomington Police Department with any information," Spierer's mom Charlene Spierer at yesterday's press conference.
"Why?" Charlene Spierer asked, "I guarantee you Lauren would have been the first to call."
Qualters said today that 1,500 tips, 175 items of evidence and over 300 hours of video have come in since the beginning of the investigation and that the relevance of these items continues to be evaluated. At least 10 persons of interest have also been named and no one has been cleared.
But when a reporter asked if the police have a better idea today of what happened to Spierer than three weeks ago, Qualters replied simply, "No."
Qualters drew attention to a new poster behind him and announced that tomorrow is "Find Lauren Day," an effort to draw more search volunteers and dedicate a full day to the search.
The captain also said that today would be the last of the daily press conferences. In the event of big news, he will call the media back or send out press releases. He emphasized that the outward appearance of drawing back on the investigation doesn't mean they are not still working hard on it.
Spierer's visibly drained parents also made comments.
"We're praying we find Lauren," said her father Robert Spierer, "We wake up every morning believing today could be the day." He took deep breaths between sentences but said he remains determined and hopeful.
"Perhaps it was a terrible accident that happened and we can deal with that," said Charlene Spierer as she choked back tears, "but what we can't deal with is what we don't know."
A $120,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to Spierer. Her parents are offering $100,000, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is offering $10,000 and Spierer's apartment complex is offering $10,000.
"We are ready to go home. We just need Lauren. We just need our daughter. We need someone to stand up and say something. Please…we're begging you," said an emotional Charlene Spierer.