4 Years Later, Lauren Spierer's Mom Describes Her Disappearance as 'Nightmare You Never Wake Up From'

Despite attention raised by a potentially similar case, the Indiana University student's fate is still a mystery

Photo: Jeremy Hogan/Bloomington Herald-Times/Polaris

Marking the fourth anniversary of the day her daughter vanished in 2011, Lauren Spierer’s mother opened her heart Wednesday with a new appeal for anyone to share what they might know about the fate of the missing Indiana University student.

“Our older daughter, Rebecca, was the first to learn about Lauren’s disappearance,” Charlene Spierer posted Wednesday on the family’s Facebook page. “Something as simple as answering her phone on June 3, 2011, changed her life in a way that would never be the same. She called her father and Rob called me. Rebecca was 24. Lauren would be 24 now. I wish we could have shielded Rebecca from being the one to get that devastating news.”

“Someone once asked me how it feels like to be the parent of a missing child,” she wrote. “It is indescribable. The nightmare you never wake up from.”

“Spend a moment with your son or daughter today, something we have all taken for granted. How many times have you thought of something you forgot to say and decided it could wait until tomorrow?”

“Now imagine you get up tomorrow and that person is gone. No warning. Without one last conversation, without one last kiss, without one last hug, text, email, telephone call. No chance to tell them how much you love them ever again. Just gone, as if they never existed. It doesn’t sound like reality. Surely it can’t be true. You may think this could never happen to you, but we are living proof, it can.”

The never-dormant Spierer investigation generated new headlines in April after the murder of another Indiana University student, Hannah Wilson, led police in Bloomington, Indiana, to say they hoped to “determine what, if any, similarities might exist in the two cases.”

Wilson, 22, was last seen in the early morning hours of April 24 outside the same bar that Spierer had visited on the night she went missing. After leaving the scene in a cab, according to a court document cited by RTV6, Wilson’s body was found later that morning in a rural area outside of town, struck three to four times in the back of the head with an unknown object.

A suspect, Daniel Messel, 49, of Bloomington, was arrested and has pleaded not guilty.

Lauren’s whereabouts remain unknown. Although police have never named any suspects, her parents have remained focused on a group of young men who were with Lauren in her last hours, hoping that one or more of them may hold the clue.

“Four years ago today, Lauren disappeared,” her mother wrote Wednesday. “She had just finished her sophomore year at Indiana University. She had everything to live for. Someone took a life full of promise, away from our daughter. That person continues to breathe the same air Lauren should be breathing. Living their life, seemingly as if they have no responsibility for Lauren’s disappearance. I trust that somehow, some day, someone will be held accountable.”

“We will always love Lauren. She will always be a part of our family and we will NEVER stop looking for answers.”

They ask that tips be shared with Bloomington police by calling (812)339-4477 or emailing helpfindlauren@gmail.com.

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