Joe Nocera for The New York Times: A Family’s Need to Know

October 11th, 2013

The New York Times
by Joe Nocera
October 11, 2013

When you drive into Bloomington, Ind., a classic college town of 82,000 dominated by Indiana University, one of the first things you see is a large, handmade billboard with the picture of a pretty young woman. Next to her picture is her name, Lauren Spierer, and, in bold red letters, the word “MISSING.” More than two years ago, Lauren, who was finishing her sophomore year, disappeared.

Her parents, Rob and Charlene Spierer, who live in Westchester, N.Y., immediately flew to Bloomington, where they stayed for the next six months, organizing search parties, printing fliers, and working round the clock to find their daughter. Private people, they nonetheless held daily news conferences alongside the police. “You have a singular purpose,” Rob Spierer told me a few weeks ago, “and that is to find your child.”

There came a point, however, when the police told the Spierers that the search effort was going to become a recovery effort instead, which meant that the authorities had come to believe that Lauren was dead. The daily news conferences gradually tapered off, as did the searches.

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