Even though the organized searches are over and McNutt headquarters is closed, the family of missing IU student Lauren Spierer is finding support in the Bloomington community.
Nearly 200 people filed into the Evangelical Community Church Thursday night almost 4 weeks after 20 year old Lauren Spierer went missing. James Webster of Bloomington radio station Spirit 95 reached out to the Spierer family about holding a prayer service.
“This family is lifted up tonight, that’s the main goal is this community, this family, Lauren comes home safe or there’s some closure to it, that’s what we want.”
The service included prayer, music and remarks from Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan.
“But we are at a loss to explain the inexplicable, to say how this could happen in our community, to understand how those people who can tell us choose not to come forward.”
Kruzan promised to provide all the resources necessary to find Lauren.
“Even if the search process became and now has become a prolonged one, that Bloomington, Indiana would not forget Lauren and tonight as another sign of this community common commitment to remember.”
Jane Hoeppner speaking on behalf of Coach Hep Cancer Challenge was asked to speak.
“My plea to you in this room tonight, is that we give ourselves in prayer with our whole hearts tonight. That whatever was discussed in the car on the way over, the dinner table or whatever you’re thinking about doing when you leave here, that you would put that out of your mind.”
The pastor of the ECC John Mangrum also lead the service in prayer.
“Most of us here don’t know the Spierer’s personally, most of us here haven’t met Lauren, but I wonder if that’s not the time when our prayers are the most powerful, when they don’t mean the most – when they are prayers that aren’t really about us.”
After the service, Lauren’s father, Robert Spierer continued to show his gratefulness to all who have helped find Lauren.
“The support that’s been given to us, the people here should be very proud of who they are, what the city stands for… thank you.”
Thousands of people from Bloomington and beyond have assisted in the search for Lauren. Just this past Saturday alone- more than 600 people showed up for “Find Lauren Day.” A total of 10 miles around where Spierer was last seen near her Smallwood apartment in downtown Bloomington has been covered.
Bloomington Police Captain Joe Qualters says searchers have looked for Spierer on foot, by boat, on horseback and by using ATV’s and helicopters.
But after sifting through 175 items of evidence, more than 1,500 tips and 300 hours of video footage, Qualters says police know as much now as they did when Lauren was reported missing.
“There may be someone out there that has a very important piece of information that for some reason they are choosing not to get to us despite the fact that we’ve opened the door in a variety of ways.”