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Landfill Search For Spierer Would Be Scientific, Still Tough

FBI officials may search a Terre Haute landfill for evidence of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer.

As the FBI decides whether to search a landfill south of Terre Haute for evidence of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer, a spokeswoman for the landfill’s operator says the search is both scientific and harder than it looks.

“It’s engineered and precise, but it’s not as precise as it’s portrayed to be on TV and in the movies,” said Republic Services Media Relations Manager Peg Mulloy.  Mulloy said her company owns the landfill the FBI is interested in searching, but could not say if or when such a search might take place.  Mulloy said trash comes into Republic’s landfills on semi trucks – dozens of them each day – and is dumped out so heavy machines called compactors can form the waste into dense piles.

“If the trash comes out in the typical green plastic bag, and a compactor runs over it – a multi-ton compactor – the bag’s going to rip and the trash will go all over.  But everything is pressed down and crushed,” she said.

At the end of each day, the piles of trash are covered with several inches of dirt and the process repeated the following day.  Though Mulloy said each pile of trash corresponds to a single day’s deliveries, she added trash is often delivered to a Republic landfill from several communities each day.  Calls to the FBI seeking comment on the investigation were not returned Wednesday.

Today marks the second month since Lauren disappeared walking home after a night of partying in the area of 11th Street and College Avenue in Bloomington.

“Two months too long,” said Lauren’s mother Charlene in a statement released today.

The Spierers continue to be actively involved in raising awareness about their missing daughter.  This past Saturday, an “awareness ride,” organized by the Spierer’s, took motorcyclists from Bloomington to Nashville, IN and back.

“Thanks to all those who continue to support us throughout Bloomington, at home and all those we’ve never met,” said Charlene.  “Please call the Bloomington Police Department with ANY information at (812) 339-4477.”

It’s been nearly one month since general searches were suspended and investigators have released no updates.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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