Lauren Spierer, a 20-year-old Indiana University student from Westchester County, disappeared after a night out with friends on June 3. Over the last seven weeks, volunteers helped organize massive searches for the aspiring fashion major, tens of thousands of individuals followed the case on social media and strangers across the nation demonstrated an outpouring of support for Lauren’s devastated, yet determined family. To date, police still do not know what happened to Lauren.
Today marks the 50th day of her disappearance.
Lauren’s heartbroken mother, Charlene, released the following letter through the Twitter account @NewsonLaurenS. Below is the unedited letter.
July 21, 2011
Our daughter, Lauren, disappeared on June 3, 2011. In the blink of an eye, she disappeared. I truly hope as a parent, you never get that phone call. The feeling is indescribable. Weeks later, the feeling is the same. It’s as if our lives before June 3rd never happened. We are suspended in time. I cannot imagine doing anything other than searching for Lauren until the time we find her and can take her home with us. Some days are paralyzing. As you wake every morning, the nightmare begins again. You cannot give in. You cannot give up hope. Every day you think this could be the day and every day I believe that with all my heart.
Lauren is so much more than a face on a poster. She is Rebecca’s sister. She has grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. She is our daughter. Lauren has friends she adores. Friends she would go the extra mile for. Everyday something reminds me of her. It might be something as small as seeing a sunflower, hearing a song or noticing something I’d love to tell Lauren about. My heart is breaking.
Over the last several weeks, I’ve learned a new language no one should ever have to learn. I now know what things like PLS, POI, recon, ATV and vetting all mean. The word “ transition” is another way of letting me know a change is about to happen that I might not be happy about. I’ve learned to speak while looking into a camera instead of a person’s eyes. I’ve learned that social media is a way to reach a great deal of people in a very short time. I constantly read blogs, check Twitter and Facebook.
I’ve learned what it takes to update a website with the latest information about my dear sweet girl. I’ve learned how to suppress my pain. I’ve learned how to keep thoughts of Lauren before June 3 at bay because when they come to the surface it is almost too painful to endure. I’ve learned that you never run out of tears. They are always there, always on the surface, a constant reminder of the ache in my heart. I’ve learned that the world is comprised of many wonderful, kind people. Just waiting to help Rob, Rebecca and me in any way they can.
But outside all that goodness, I’ve learned there lurks an evil, a cruel, heartless element that cares more about themselves than the life of my daughter. That this element of humanity exists in the world is beyond comprehension. Your silence is deafening. Your lack of compassion is irreprehensible. Your lack of respect for another human being which allows you to go day, by day, watching is unimaginable. Everyone is put on this earth for a purpose. Everyone has a defining moment. In the blink of an eye Lauren disappeared. Do not let this be your defining moment. You have no idea what you have taken from us.
My promise to you, we will not rest until we find Lauren. What are you waiting for? You can still do the right thing.
Find Lauren…PO Box 1226…Bloomington, IN 47402-1226.
Lauren, I love you with my heart and soul. We will never give up.
Ever strong, ever determined, ever hopeful,