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Susan Williams
University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, June 14, 2011

IU establishes fund to help cover search expenses

June 14, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University has established a $50,000 fund to help cover costs related to the ongoing search for IU student Lauren Spierer, who has been missing since June 3 when she was last seen in downtown Bloomington.

Harold "Pete" Goldsmith

IU Dean of Students Pete Goldsmith

Print-Quality Photo

The fund is being set up within the Indiana University Foundation. It will be used to help with expenses such as feeding and housing searchers, providing for various transportation needs, and to offset the cost of equipment and material needs, including making photocopies of missing person flyers to post and maps used by volunteers helping in the search.

As many as 1,000 individuals a day, coming from throughout the state and U.S., have joined the search efforts, which leave the downtown area two and three times a day.

Other searches are being conducted by Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery, a nonprofit organization funded by donations and dedicated to returning missing persons to their loved ones. Representatives of EquuSearch arrived in Bloomington Saturday (June 11). Trained volunteers from the Greenville Fire District in New York, where Spierer's family lives, also are in Bloomington with a search dog to help.

A small plane, helicopters, an unmanned drone and boats with sonar equipment also are being utilized, and unforeseen expenses are expected as the search goes on.

The IU Foundation account will be overseen by Dean of Students Pete Goldsmith, who has been working closely with the Spierer family and coordinating IU's assistance in the search and investigation efforts. Expenses will be reimbursed on a receipt basis after pre-approval from Goldsmith.

The Indiana University Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to maximizing private sector support for IU.