Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What's In The Back Of The Truck?

The case of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer has become a case of nationwide interest since she first disappeared two weeks ago, presumably because she's a young, attractive blonde woman who comes from a wealthy, New York family. I don't typically cover missing persons cases, but an image captured by a surveillance camera of a vehicle seen in the vicinity of the apartment building where Spierer was last seen and released today by Bloomington police is stirring a debate on the Internet that has not been mentioned in the mainstream news reports. Police released an enhanced photo of the vehicle, which appears to be a white, Chevy Silverado or Colorado 4 X 4 pickup truck according to police. There appears to be an object in the back of the truck which some have speculated might be a human body. Police think it is more likely equipment. The bed cover you often see on vehicles of this type is missing. The surveillance camera images indicate the truck circled the apartment building a couple of times near the time Spierer was last seen.

Police also released an image of Spierer captured earlier in the evening the night she disappeared as she was leaving her apartment building. The object in the back of the truck, albeit blurred, is not inconsistent with the clothing Spierer was shown to be wearing that night: "Spierer had on a white, V-neck shirt with sleeves to her elbows. The shirt was scooped in the bottom at the front and back and had bell or butterfly sleeves," police said.

The Bloomington-based blog, has probably been doing the best job providing insights into the investigation from a local perspective of any sites I've come across. Gatto showed the photo to "Dave" at Tire & Wheel of Bloomington, who thinks the vehicle could also be a GMC Sierra or a Ford model. Gatto also has some interesting insights into the persons of interest, noting who has stayed in Bloomington versus who fled the state to return to the safety of their wealthy parents' homes, who has lawyered up and who has been willing to talk to the police and media. Spierer's boyfriend is apparently not among those who stayed in town to help with the search. It sounds like this whole cast of characters indulged a bit too much in alcohol and perhaps drugs given the past arrest records of the persons of interest and Spierer. The rare heart condition Spierer had may have been a factor in her disappearance; some are already speculating she overdosed on cocaine. She was reportedly out drinking with a male friend at Kilroy's despite being only 20 and made quite a few other stops after leaving the bar. Given her heart condition, alcohol and/or drugs should have been among the last things in which she chose to endulge. Life must be so difficult for these wealthy kids of entitlement today.

In an unrelated case, I received an e-mail plea to post information about another missing person, Morgan Johnson, based on a plea released by his mother, Ann Johnson Smith of Terre Haute. Morgan disappeared from Indianapolis' west side last month, but his case has been virtually unreported by the media. His mother's message is as follows:
My name is Ann Johnson Smith and my son has been missing since May 18, 2011.  I am a Terre Haute, Indiana resident, teacher and tennis coach at Sarah Scott Middle School.
My son, Morgan Johnson, 27 graduated from Terre Haute North High School in 2002 and is employed at Brightpoint in Plainfield, Indiana.  Morgan is an avid tennis player and a member of Gold's Gym.  Morgan is a devout member of the St. John's Baptist Church, is in the church choir and works actively in the youth prison ministry.  Morgan has a seizure disorder that is managed by medicine.
Will you please post these attached posters and circulate this e-mail?Any information received about Morgan should be reported to 911 or Detective Aldridge, Plainfield Police Department, 317-838-3562.Thank you, Ann Johnson Smith

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