One of the most famous unsolved missing person’s cases in US history is that of Lauren Spierer, an Indiana University student who vanished after spending a night out partying with friends. The disappearance is notable for the high amount of physical evidence but the complete lack of concrete theories regarding the disappearance.
The 20-year-old vanished on June 3, 2011. She went out drinking with her friends, David Rohn and Cory Rossman, just after midnight. The group went to Kilroy’s Sports Bar, where Spierer, presumably using a fake ID, drank with her friends and eventually left her phone and shoes. Throughout the rest of the night, she was spotted barefoot. Into the early morning, she was at Rossman’s apartment with his roommate, Michael Beth.
She later went to Beth’s neighbor’s apartment. The neighbor, Jay Rosenbaum, was also a friend of Lauren’s. He reported that she was very inebriated and placed two calls to friends while at his apartment. Neither picked up, likely as it was almost four in the morning. After placing these calls, Rosenbaum later told investigators, she insisted on returning to her own apartment. She was still barefooted, and she didn’t have her cellphone.
Rosenbaum was the last person to see Spierer. He told investigators that the last time he saw her, she was walking south on the sidewalk of College Street. What happened to her next remains a mystery.
The investigation was an exercise in frustration for law enforcement and Spierer’s family. A huge search covering the town of Bloomington, Indiana, was the center of national attention for days as investigators looked for any sign of Spierer. Searches of the surrounding area, nearby landfills, and the areas near where Spierer was last seen turned up little. Her shoes, phone, purse, and keys were all recovered from areas she was seen in on the night of her disappearance.
However, in spite of the sweeping investigation, neither Spierer nor any evidence indicating what may have happened to her has ever come to light.
There are numerous theories regarding what may have happened to Lauren Spierer. The most common theory holds that she may have overdosed on drugs and her remains have simply not been recovered. Some have theorized that the men who were with her the night she disappeared could have covered up her overdose and hidden her remains. However, no charges were ever brought against any of them.
Another theory holds that Rosenbaum is telling the truth and that Spierer left his apartment early that morning, only to be abducted by a stranger who noticed how intoxicated she was. Others have suggested that Daniel Messel, a man who was convicted for the murder of another IU student, could have also been responsible for Spierer’s disappearance. Messel maintains he had nothing to do with Spierer, however, and he has never been charged regarding her disappearance.
So, despite ten years passing since her disappearance, the public knows nothing more about Lauren Spierer’s ultimate fate. Sadly, her case could easily remain unsolved forever.