To the Parents of Lauren:
I write to you this evening not as a friend of the family, but as someone who can be classified as one of the thousands (if not millions) of people who support you from a distance. Your pain is unimaginable to me so I won't pretend to understand for a moment how you feel. I hope and pray that this case not only has a conclusion, but a happy one at that.
My job requires me to travel to universities across the Midwest and this week I find myself at Indiana University. As I was driving along N. College toward downtown today, I noticed a sign marking Lauren's disappearance. I subsequently saw several other signs just like it throughout the day. At a gas station, I noticed a faded but still legible sign broadcasting Lauren's disappearance. While the natural of course of life finds the names and faces of people changing from year to year on any campus, I can assure you what you surely already know - this community has not forgotten your daughter. While I was poignantly aware of Lauren's disappearance when it broke in June of 2011, I must admit that, like thousands of other news stories before and after that, Lauren's case has faded a bit from my mind. After seeing her face in so many places today, I decided to get my laptop out and re-familiarize myself with Lauren's story.
As I write to you, I have come to find out that I am actually sitting in a hotel room not more than two blocks from Lauren's apartment. Being so close to her building and the other points of interest from that night, I would love to find something, ANYTHING, that would help break this case. If that path hasn't been combed over once I'm sure it's been combed over a million times. But it's worth going out of my way a couple blocks tomorrow if, for no other reason, just to take a look. I am not an investigator or a member of any law enforcement agency for that matter. What I am is a father of two children, and what I think a case like Lauren's does is forms a bond between all dads whether we know them or not. I think fathers form the world's largest fraternity and when one of our brothers is suffering, we want to help him - no matter how small the deed may seem.
Charlene, in my reading about Lauren's case, I read the open letter you wrote to whomever or whoever is responsible for Lauren's disappearance. As moving and as powerful as that letter was, I must disagree with you on one point. You seem to cast a doubt as to whether or not this letter would do any good - and I can understand how and why you feel that way. I don't need to tell you this but those letters cannot stop coming. It's easy to conclude that this person has no soul, but if he does, your letters can go a long way to that soul being exposed. I couldn't be any less involved in this case - and this letter stirred all kinds of emotions in ME. Just think what it would do to the person or persons responsible. If he has a soul, if he has a conscience, if he has one good deed remaining during his life, this type of pressure from you could be the key. I honestly believe with all my heart that these types of communications from you are not lost
One thing I do know for sure. Lauren Spierer's story will not leave me anytime soon. It's one thing to see it on the news or read about it somewhere from a distance. It's quite another thing to actually be sitting here in the shadow of where, whatever may have happened, took place. For some reason, it just takes on an entirely new meaning. I won't hear her name or see it in print again without doing a double take. I hope everyone who sees these signs on campus has a continuing or renewed interest in her case. From my angle, this community is doing all it can to make sure that happens. I pray for the day that I turn on the TV and there you are hugging Lauren with your eyes swelled with tears of joy. May your days of hope outnumber your days of despair. I will think of you often. God Bless.