Indiana University student disappeared almost 5 years ago

By Hilary Shenfeld
Updated April 26, 2016 06:30 PM
Credit: Jeremy Hogan/The Herald-Times via AP

Investigators on Tuesday began excavating a site in Bloomington, Indiana where human skeletal remains were found but police tell PEOPLE the bones are not those of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer.

“We are confident that this is not Lauren Spierer,” Bloomington Police Capt. Steve Kellams tells PEOPLE.

Spierer, 20, an IU sophomore, disappeared from Bloomington in 2011 after a night out with friends. There has been no trace of her since, though possible leads continue to surface.

On Monday, a Duke Energy worker found human remains in a field next to an electrical substation, Kellams says. Some clothing items were found near the body, which was laying on the surface, he says.

Kellams would not say how police know the remains found in a field were not those of Spierer, but said forensic anthropologists started digging at the site on Tuesday and police made their determination based on what was recovered, Kellams says. No information about the body’s gender, race, and age was revealed.

“We are waiting for information on how long the body was there,” he said. “We have no idea on if we’re talking about if the body was there for a couple months or longer.”

There was some indication that the death was due to natural causes, he said. “We didn’t see any indication of foul play,” Kellams said, adding that police are looking into connections to other missing person’s reports in the area.