The search for missing IU student Lauren Spierer is turning from posters plastered around Bloomington to an online poster project reaching nearly 30 million people.
The creater, who goes by her Twitter handle @NewsOnLaurenS, said the response so far has been overwhelming.
"Things they see throughout their day might remind them of Lauren or their past experience with helping with the search and we wanted to find a way to capture those moments," she said.
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Through Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook she asked for photos of things that remind people of Lauren in their daily lives. Then co-creator Malorie Janasek turned the photos into digital "Find Lauren" posters.
Olivia Cole from Columbus, Ohio, has never met Lauren. But Cole is a 19-year-old college student and said she thinks about the Spierer family almost every day. She submitted a photo of a blooming purple flower she sits by on her breaks from work.
"That's the first thing that came to my mind when I heard about the project just because it's so pretty and I didn't know her personally, but all the pictures and all the stories that I've heard about her she's just really beautiful and it just reminds me of that flower," said Cole.
She said she hopes her poster sends the Spierers a message as they approach the one year mark since Lauren was last seen near her Bloomington apartment June 3.
"That people haven't given up and there's still hope and we're still working for her in all different states. Everybody wants her to come home," said Cole.
Charlene and Robert Spierer expressed their thanks to the social media movement in a statement that read:
"Within days of Lauren's disappearance, @NewsOnLaurenS... was launched on Twitter. At the time, we barely knew what Twitter was. At the time we had never met the remarkable person responsible for spreading the news of Lauren's disappearance via Twitter.
"She is one of those rare individuals who took it upon herself to use her knowledge to help a family in need. Almost a year later, and after thousands of tweets, @NewsOnLaurenS continues to support us with dedication, determination and caring. We will be forever grateful.
"Our sincere thanks to @NewsOnLaurenS and Malorie Janasek for creating http://findlauren.tumblr.com/, a photo project to raise awareness to #FindLauren and to all of you who have participated thus far.
"Hoping today is the day…."