FBI Enhancing Surveillance Footage In Hunt For Missing Student Lauren Spierer
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (CBSNewYork) — Police searching for a missing Indiana University student from Westchester said Tuesday they’re waiting for the FBI to complete an enhancement of security video of the area where the young woman was last seen.
Bloomington police Capt. Joe Qualters said he hopes the enhanced video will be ready for release by Wednesday and generate more tips in the disappearance of 20-year-old Lauren Spierer
Spierer, a graduate of Edgemont High in Westchester, vanished more than a week ago.
Qualters has said the video footage shows one, possibly two, vehicles driving through the area where Spierer was last seen June 3, walking toward her apartment after a night of drinking with friends.
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Qualters said police want to know if the footage might show not two vehicles but a single one circling through the area.
Police said the drivers in the video were not necessarily suspects, but may have information about Spierer’s disappearance as the surveillance was from an apartment building where they found Lauren’s keys.
“We’re going to maintain custody of that video and not release anything or specific details about it, and I understand you want to get to the nuts and bolts of it. We’re just not to the point where we can release that,” Qualters said.
Police said they have received nearly 1,000 tips from the public so far about what might have happened to Lauren. Qualters said about a third of the tips received by telephone and e-mail were collected after “America’s Most Wanted” aired a segment Saturday on Lauren Spierer’s disappearance.
The tips were collected with a new system set up with FBI assistance before the broadcast. Police also said they received an unconfirmed tip that Spierer’s friends may have panicked and disposed of her body after a possible cocaine overdose.
“We are not going to focus on one aspect of information that we get in until that information can be corroborated,” Qualters said.
“I don’t know if there’s been any possibility that’s been ruled out at this point,” he added. “It’s absolutely critical for us to remain open-minded about what information we get in, how we treat that information and how we pursue it.”
As the search continues, Lauren’s parents, Charlene and Robert Spierer planned to remain in Indiana to wait for Lauren’s return. They’ve also established a website to help spread the word about their missing daughter.
“Obviously we’re not giving up,” her father said. “We feel as strong today in our pursuit to find her as we did a week ago.”
Charleen Spierer had messages Monday for whomever may have been involved with her daughter’s disappearance, as well as for Lauren herself.
On Tuesday, she made an emotional plea during a news conference.
“I start my everyday hoping that today is the day; I got to sleep every night knowing that I have failed and that I haven’t done enough,” she said.
Police in Bloomington, Ind., said they have 10 persons of interest, including Lauren’s boyfriend, Jesse Wolf, and one of the last people she was seen with, Corey Rossman.
Amid the crowd of volunteers on Tuesday was Spierer’s roommate, Roslyn, N.Y. native Hadar Tamir. She said she knows many of the people questioned by police — friends who saw Spierer last.
“I honestly don’t think anyone had anything to do with her disappearance. I think it’s a random person,” Tamir said. “I wake up every morning and hope for the best.”
There was also a $100,000 reward for any information that could help solve the case. The university has set up a $50,000 fund to be used in the search.
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