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IU student Lauren Spierer is missing: how you can help.

As anyone who is in central Indiana already knows, Lauren Spierer, an IU sophomore from Scarsdale, New York, disappeared early Friday morning in Bloomington. Obviously, the longer a saga like this goes on, the less likely it is that there will be a happy ending, but it's not impossible (Elizabeth Smart, for instance).  Regardless, for family and friends of Lauren, any answer would be better than no answer.  How can you help?

  • Join the search.  If you are in or near Bloomington and have the time and physical ability, by all means, show up and help other volunteers scour the area.  The meeting point is Smallwood, the apartment complex at 455 North College Avenue where Lauren lives, at 11 a.m. today
  • Send money.  IU's Hillel Center is accepting donations that will be targeted toward the search--billboards, flyers, who knows what else.  
  • Stay informed. There is a Facebook page that is providing updates and information about the search. (UPDATE:  This Twitter feed appears to be much more active than the Facebook page).
Finally, for you IU students and recent graduates, allow for some preaching from an old 1996 alum who certainly did some dumb things in his time.  Nothing I say should be construed as blaming Lauren or her friends for anything that happened.  If she was a victim of a crime, then the perpetrator is responsible, and no one else.  Also, I don't presume to know what happened.  That said, look out for each other.  Violent crime is relatively rare, but take precautions.  Don't walk around alone at night, particularly if you are a woman.  Look out for your friends if they aren't in a position to look out for themselves.  Spend a few bucks on a cab if necessary.  Again, I don't want any of this to sound like blame or second-guessing.  But be careful.

Second, if you are an IU student or Bloomington resident and were at Kilroy's Sports or were in the vicinity Thursday night/Friday morning, by all means, rack your brain for anything suspicious, and if you think of anything out of the ordinary that might be connected, err on the side of reporting.   

Finally, continue to hope or pray that this will end well, whatever the odds.