It’s the end of the semester, and student Lauren Spierer has been partying hard. But as the night turns into morning and her friend heads to bed, she doesn’t want the fun to end. Instead, Spierer heads off into the darkness, never to be seen again. Will her family ever know the truth about what happened?
Spierer was born on January 17, 1991, to parents Robert and Charlene, and she was raised in Scarsdale, a town in Westchester County, New York. As a youngster, she attended a Pennsylvania summer camp, where she met a boy named Jesse Wolff.
In 2009 Spierer graduated from Edgemont High School in nearby Greenville, NY. Subsequently, she joined Wolff and Jay Rosenbaum, another friend she had met at summer camp, at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, and there she enrolled on a textiles merchandising course.
By this time, Spierer and Wolff were dating. However, when Spierer, then 20, decided to go out and let her hair down after a difficult semester, Wolff opted to stay at home. Apparently, he spent the night of June 2, 2011, watching basketball, unaware of the drama that was about to unfold.
Meanwhile, Spierer had begun drinking with friends. At around 12:30 a.m. on June 3, she and her friend David Rohn were seen leaving her apartment. Afterwards, they made their way to the home of Rosenbaum, where they continued the party.
While at Rosenbaum’s apartment, Spierer also met up with Cory Rossman, who lived next door. Then, later, she made her way to Kilroy’s Sports Bar, a popular nightspot in Bloomington. Yet although she was seen arriving at 1:46 a.m., security cameras spotted her leaving just 40 minutes later.
During that short visit to Kilroy’s, Spierer managed to leave her cell phone in the bar. She also left behind her shoes, having removed them on the patio, and exited Kilroy’s with bare feet. Obviously intoxicated, she and Rossman then began the short walk back to her apartment.
It was when the pair arrived at Spierer’s apartment that things started to go wrong. Apparently, they ran into a group of students who were unhappy about the way that Rossman was treating his friend. One of them allegedly punched Rossman, and he fell to the ground.
Afterwards, the pair left, walking a few blocks to Rossman’s apartment. At one point, cameras filmed Spierer struggling to walk and Rossman picking her up and carrying on with her slung over his shoulder. They finally arrived at around 3:00 a.m., running into Rossman’s roommate, Michael Beth.
According to Beth, both Spierer and Rossman were intoxicated. Apparently, Rossman vomited and went upstairs to bed. Meanwhile, concerned about Spierer’s safety, Beth attempted to persuade her to spend the night. Spierer refused, however, and went next door to the place of her friend Rosenbaum.
Like Beth, Rosenbaum was apparently concerned about the state that Spierer was in, and he tried to convince her to sleep on the couch. However, he claimed that Spierer wanted to keep partying, making phone calls to a friend she had been with earlier in the evening. And when that friend didn’t answer, she left Rosenbaum’s apartment alone.
According to Rosenbaum, Spierer left his apartment at around 4:30 a.m. Still without shoes and wearing a white shirt with black leggings, she began walking south on 11th Street. Tragically, this remains the last reported sighting of her.
Hours later, Wolff sent a text message to Spierer. But instead of getting a reply from his girlfriend, he received a response from an employee at Kilroy’s. Realizing that Spierer had not made it home from the night before, Wolff then alerted the authorities. That evening, police rang Robert and Charlene with the news that no parent ever wants to hear.
Soon, television stations across the country were covering the story. Volunteers in their hundreds descended on Bloomington, helping Wolff and Spierer’s parents search the town for any sign of the missing girl. But despite them combing through thick woodlands, abandoned quarries and a landfill site, no trace of Spierer was found.
For Spierer’s parents, it was an emotional time. “I start my every day hoping that today is the day,” Charlene told ABC News. “I go to sleep every night knowing that I have failed and that I haven’t done enough.”
Meanwhile, investigators began to look at those closest to Spierer. In fact, both Rossman and Rosenbaum took on lawyers soon after the events took place. Yet despite Spierer’s parents’ suspicions about the men, they claim that their actions were a result of them not trusting the authorities in Bloomington.
At the same time, certain facts about Spierer’s lifestyle began to emerge. According to Wolff’s mother, the young woman had been sent away from summer camp because she was using drugs. Furthermore, her friends confirmed that Spierer had a history of using illegal substances – and that she had taken cocaine as well as alcohol and Klonopin tablets on the night that she disappeared.
So, if Rossman and Rosenbaum didn’t know what had happened to Spierer, who did? Another theory was that a stranger had spotted her walking alone and intoxicated and had decided to take advantage of the situation. For former FBI agent Brad Garrett, a consultant for ABC News, ex-convict James McClish fitted that bill.
Not only had McClish been in the area when Spierer went missing, but he also drove a white van similar to one spotted near the scene of her disappearance. However, when McClish was brought in for a polygraph test, he passed with flying colors. Similarly, Garrett could find no truth in the allegations that a local motorcycle gang, the Sons of Silence, may have had a hand in Spierer’s fate.
Instead, Garrett believes that the most likely explanation for Spierer’s disappearance is a simple one: she died of a drug overdose, and panicked partygoers then disposed of her body. Indeed, he appeared so confident in this theory that he announced in June 2016 that he was just “one interview away from putting this case together.” Since then, however, no further developments have been announced. So for Spierer’s loved ones, the heartbreaking wait continues.