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As the first anniversary of IU student Lauren Spierer’s disappearance approaches, those who searched for her have gathered at Bloomington’s Hillel Center to pray and remember.
One year ago Sunday, Bloomington residents formed volunteer search parties in the unsuccessful hunt for the missing 20-year-old. Don Cranfill, who has search training, was on a fishing trip when he heard news reports, turned his car around, and helped organize the first searches.
He was one of several people at the remembrance ceremony firing a broadside at whoever knows what happened but hasn’t spoken up.
“The time is long overdue for the person or persons responsible to own up to their actions,” Cranfill says.
Hillel Center Rabbi Sue Silberberg, who hosted the service, says it’s “selfish and cowardly” to know what happened and keep silent. She says the Spierer case illustrates the principle in Judaism that “destroying one life destroys the world,” with Spierer’s disappearance reverberating among her family and friends and casting a shadow over the Bloomington community.
I-U Dean of Students Pete Goldsmith choked up as he vowed searchers would not stop until Spierer’s disappearance is resolved.
Spierer’s parents did not attend, but sent a letter through Silberberg thanking the community and scolding whoever is responsible for their daughter’s disappearance. Audience members prayed for the Spierers and wrote a basket of notes to be delivered to them.
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