Police Set Up Checkpoint in Search for Missing Student, 1 Week Later

Saturday, Jun 11, 2011  |  Updated 9:44 AM EDT
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Supporters in New York are praying for the safe recovery of a missing Indiana student.

Supporters in New York are praying for the safe recovery of a missing Indiana student.

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Exactly a week after a Westchester County student disappeared in her Indiana college town, police set up a checkpoint during the same early morning hours she vanished in an effort to find potential witnesses.

Bloomington, Ind. police Lt. Bill Parker said the checkpoint encountered 135 cars on Friday morning but yielded no new information.

Fliers were passed out and he said it was likely police would try the tactic again to find the 20-year-old student.

Lauren Spierer disappeared a week ago early Friday morning after being out with friends, and was last seen after she left a friend's apartment at about 4:30 a.m. Her keys and small purse were found along the route home, police have said.

Parker said police also searched southern Indiana lakes on Thursday, based on a specific tip, but came up with nothing.

"We're not losing hope," he said. "We're concentrating completely on this case and finding Lauren."

Police have no suspects at this time, he said.

Parker said surveillance video from nearby businesses show some cars in the area at the time she disappeared. Investigators are working to identify all of those.

The search for Spierer has sparked an outpouring of volunteers and community support.

Spierer's father said the family is grateful for the help. In addition to volunteers, local businesses have contributed food, water and other items for those searching.

A number of local hotels are offering discounted rates for people who come from out of town to help with the search.

Dean Foster, the owner of a recently closed coffee shop on the ground floor of Spierer's apartment building, said the outpouring is typical of the college town.

"The community rallies big time," he said. "I think it's probably because it's a really small community that happens to have a big college in the middle of it, and everybody really looks out for each other."

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