BLOOMINGTON, IN (PIX11)—Police in Bloomington, Indiana suspect "foul play" in the disappearance of 20-year-old Lauren Spierer, a native of Scarsdale, New York. Speier had just finished her sophomore year at Indiana University where she is studying merchandising and fashion.
The petite, blond coed--who stands less than five feet tall--was last seen barefoot at 4:15 am Friday morning on a street in Bloomington, about three blocks from her apartment. She had spent a night on the town with her college friends.
Her parents left Scarsdale and flew out to Bloomington over the weekend after a friend notified them that Lauren was missing. Her mother, Charlene, told authorities Lauren has a life-threatening heart condition called Long QT Syndrome.
Police and volunteers have been organizing searches of lakes and woods near the spot where Lauren disappeared. Charlene Spierer said of the search, "It's massive...like looking for a needle in a haystack."
Surveillance video showed Spierer never returned to her apartment after saying good-bye to her friends a few blocks away.
Teachers, students and parents at Edgemont High School in Scarsdale, where Spierer graduated two years ago, were shaken to learn of her disappearance. "It's every parent's worst nightmare," said Jim Doukas, "I have a daughter who's graduating and she's going to college this year. You dread that phone call. It's horrifying."
The Superintendent of Schools for the Edgemont-Union Free District, Nancy Taddiken, choked back tears as she talked to reporters at the local high school. "I knew Lauren as a student who distinguished herself, who was highly motivated, who displayed a great deal of intellectual curiosity," Taddiken told PIX 11. She said Spierer had participated in a "student exchange" program in Japan and is a wonderful artist. "She's a little fashionista," Taddiken said. Spierer was even voted "Best Dressed" in her 2009 Senior Class at Edgemont High School.
Her family's neighbor on Lynwood Road in Scarsdale, Warren Weil, was stunned to learn she was missing. He told us Spierer's father, Robert, is an accountant and her mother, a social worker. The couple has two daughters. Weil remarked to PIX 11, "Young kids really have to watch out. I don't think they realize the threats around them."