Photo: lobstar28 (Flickr)
Bloomington police continue to receive more help in the search for missing IU student Lauren Spierer.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has sent a representative to aid in the search: Lee Manning is providing needed expertise in the operation based out of the Smallwood Plaza Apartments, where Spierer lived before disappearing the morning of June 3. Captain Joe Qualters, Bloomington Police Department spokesman, said his team is reviewing video surveillance of the area where Spierer was last seen, hoping to come up with descriptions of two vehicles that may somehow be connected to the case—if not to suspects, then simply to persons of interest.
Meanwhile, members of Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery, a volunteer group meant to assist law enforcement in searching for missing persons in rural areas, are also now in Bloomington to help. EquuSearch Founding Director Tim Miller said that in order to avoid leaks he’s requested Bloomington police not communicate with his organization any reasons for being sent to any specific area.
EquuSearch uses several means to conduct searches on land and in water: horse and rider, ATV, and diving teams. They also use planes, helicopters, and small drone airplanes for aerial searches. Miller founded the organization in 2000, sixteen years after his own daughter Laura was abducted and murdered. The nonprofit group has over 1,000 members, and has been involved in over 1,100 searches in 42 states, as well as Jamaica, Mexico and Sri Lanka.
Spierer’s parents said they’ll continue to search as well, and are seeking more volunteers. They launched a Web site to aid the search effort: www.findlauren.com.