Truck on Video Not Tied to Missing Student: Police

Monday, Jun 20, 2011  |  Updated 4:48 PM EDT
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Massive Search for Missing NY Student

Police released this image from a surveillance camera showing a truck that circled the block where Lauren Spierer disappeared.

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Police investigating the disappearance of an Indiana University student from Westchester County say a pickup truck seen in the area at the time of her disappearance wasn't involved in the case.

Bloomington police Capt. Joe Qualters said Monday that investigators received more than 500 tips after releasing images from security cameras showing a white truck in the area early the morning of June 3, around the time Lauren Spierer was last seen.

Qualters says police identified the business the truck belonged to and interviewed the owner. He says investigators scoured the vehicle and found no evidence it was tied to the disappearance of the 20-year-old sophomore from Greenburgh, N.Y.

Hundreds of tips about the truck poured in after a news conference last week in which police said it was seen twice on video surveillance on the morning Spierer disappeared, indicating it had circled the block where she was last seen.

On Monday, Qualters said that the truck, in fact, had only been seen on video surveillance in the area one time. He attributed the confusion to a mechanical problem related to the time stamps on the surveillance tape.

Meanwhile, searchers continue to comb areas outside Bloomington for signs of Spierer, who disappeared following a night of partying with friends.

Qualters says nothing was found over the weekend related to the disappearance of Spierer, who hasn't been seen since about 4:30 a.m. June 3 as she was walking alone to her apartment. 

Investigators on Sunday searched the wooded area south of Martinsville after receiving a tip about a suspicious odor in the vicinity. Authorities found a pile of fresh dirt that might have been left by recent utility work, but no information relevant to Spierer's disappearance, Qualters said.

As she has done at most every press conference regarding the disappearance of her daughter, Lauren Spierer's mother, Charlene, issued a plea to anyone with information about Lauren's whereabouts to step forward.

"We all come to a crossroad in our life where we can take the high road or the low road," Charlene Spierer said. "I'm begging and pleading with you to define yourself as a person that's going to help with this. Our only goal is to find Lauren."

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