The Biggest Lauren Spierer Theories: What Really Happened?

Lauren Spierer, who was a student at Indiana University, vanished without a trace in the early morning hours of June 3, 2011. As reported by Lohud, she was last seen at approximately 4:30 a.m., walking down 11th Street toward College Avenue in downtown Bloomington, Indiana. Although the investigation into Spierer's disappearance has lasted more than ten years, nobody has ever been charged, and the 20-year-old woman's body has never been found.

Shortly after midnight on June 3, Spierer and David Rohn left her Smallwood Plaza apartment to meet up with some of their friends. As reported by Lohud, Spierer and Rohn went to the residence of Jay Rosenbaum, who lived at the 5 North Townhomes, to meet with Rosenbaum, Corey Rossman, and Mike Beth.

At approximately 1:30 a.m., Spierer and Rossman left Rosenbaum's townhome and went to Kilroy's Sports Bar. As reported by Lohud, they arrived at the bar at approximately 1:46 a.m. and left at approximately 2:25 a.m.

After leaving the bar, Spierer and Rossman walked to the Smallwood Plaza Apartments, where they were reportedly confronted by "a group of young men" sometime between 2:30 and 2:42 a.m. According to Rossman, he was attacked by the young men, who struck him in the face and head. Lohud reports Rossman told authorities the resulting wounds made it difficult for him to recall what happened directly after the attack.

Surveillance cameras recorded Spierer and Rossman leaving the Smallwood Plaza Apartments and walking back toward the 5 North Townhomes between 2:48 and 2:51 a.m.

Lauren Spierer vanishes and the search begins

When Lauren Spierer and Corey Rossman returned to the 5 North Townhomes, Mike Beth reportedly took Rossman to his apartment and put him to bed. Spierer, however, returned to Jay Rosenbaum's townhome, which was two doors down from Beth's.

As reported by Lohud, Rosenbaum and Beth said Spierer wanted to continue drinking at Rosenbaum's place. However, they both wanted to "put an end to the long night of partying." Rosenbaum reportedly tried to convince Spierer to sleep on his couch, but she refused. According to Rosenbaum, Spierer left his townhome at 4:30 a.m. and began walking east on 11th Street. She was never seen again.

One day after Spierer vanished, her parents, Charlene and Robert, arrived in Bloomington to assist in the search for their daughter. By June 5, Spierer's disappearance began trending on social media, including Twitter. IndyStar reports a Twitter account dedicated to finding the missing woman had 20,000 followers within days and attracted attention from numerous celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Ryan Seacrest.

The case was also featured on a number of television news programs, including "Good Morning America," and "Today." The widespread attention prompted hundreds of volunteers to join a ground search organized by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

In addition to the ground search, IndyStar reports the Indiana State Excise Police organized a search of Lake Monroe based on an anonymous tip. However, the divers did not find any evidence in the lake.

The search for Lauren Spierer continues

On June 9, 2011, the Spierer family offered a $100,000 award for the safe return of their daughter. As reported by IndyStar, authorities announced they identified 10 "persons of interest" in Lauren Spierer's disappearance. In addition to being included on the list, Corey Rossman and Mike Beth were asked to submit DNA samples to rule them out as possible suspects.

IndyStar reports Spierer's disappearance was featured on "America's Most Wanted" on June 11, 2011. Authorities said they received approximately 350 tips after the program aired. Unfortunately, none of the tips led to the discovery of Spierer's whereabouts or the identification of a suspect.

The broadcast also inspired law enforcement agencies and volunteers to continue searching for the missing woman. As reported by IndyStar, "as many as 1,000 people a day" were searching Bloomington, Indiana, and the surrounding area.

Throughout June of 2011, authorities revealed more details about the morning Spierer vanished, including maps, enhanced surveillance images, and a timeline from the time Spierer left her apartment to the time she was seen walking down 11th Street.

IndyStar reports they also continued questioning her friends and her boyfriend, Jesse Wolff, who was not present on the morning she disappeared. Indiana University also increased the reward for information leading to Spierer's location or an arrest in her abduction by $50,000.

Between June and July, authorities and volunteers searched the Hoosier National Forest and the Sycamore Ridge Landfill. However, nothing of significance was ever found.

Authorities refuse to call Lauren Spierer's case "cold"

Amid the ongoing investigation, Jay Rosenbaum, who was the last known person to see Lauren Spierer alive, cooperated with authorities and consented to take a polygraph examination — which IndyStar reports his attorneys said he passed.

By early 2012, the reward offered for information in the case was increased to $250,000. Although the bodies of several women were found in the months and years after Spierer vanished, they were all excluded.

Fox59 reports the searches were eventually called off and the tips dwindled. However, authorities are hesitant to declare it a cold case. Chief Michael Diekhoff said, "Many times we are asked if Lauren's case is a cold case, and our answer is an unequivocal 'no'"

Spierer's parents contend Jay Rosenbaum, Corey Rossman, and Kilroys' Sports Bar, were all negligent on the morning she vanished. In their opinion, Rosenbaum, Rossman, and the bar's staff knew Spierer was intoxicated and had a "duty of care" to make sure she was safe.

As reported by IndyStar, the Spierers eventually filed a civil negligence lawsuit against Rosenbaum and Rossman. However, the lawsuit was dismissed, as the court determined "they have failed to present sufficient evidence that [they] were at fault for Lauren's disappearance."

There are three prevailing theories as to what may have actually happened to Spierers. As reported by Talk Murder to Me, most people believe the 20-year-old student was abducted by a stranger. However, there are several other possibilities. 

Lauren Spierer's boyfriend Jesse Wolff faced harsh scrutiny

Lauren Spierer's boyfriend, Jesse Wolff, was not present when she went missing. However, it has been suggested that he had something to do with her disappearance.

As reported by Talk Murder to Me, some people have suggested the group of men who attacked Corey Rossman outside the Smallwood Plaza Apartments was sent by Wolff. Other theories suggest Wolff may have abducted her himself.

As reported by USA Today, Wolff refused to take a polygraph test administered by the Bloomington Police Department. However, his parents contend he passed a polygraph test administered by a third party.

Jesse's mother, Nadine, said she and her husband are frustrated with accusations made against their son, who was not even in Bloomington on the morning Spierer disappeared. USA Today reports Spierer and Wolff exchanged text messages in the hours prior to Spierer vanishing. According to Wolff, Spierer said, "she was home and going to sleep." He responded by saying, "if you wake up, call me." Wolff said he then went to bed.

Spierer, however, did not go to bed. Instead, she and David Rohn left for a night of drinking. In an interview with police, Rosenbaum said that in addition to drinking, Spierer "snorted Klonopin" and took cocaine. 

Nadine said her son simply was not with Spierer on the morning she disappeared. She said her son is "guilty of anything, he was guilty of taking care of Lauren, who had some serious drug issues."

Alcohol and drugs may have been a factor in Lauren Spierer's disappearance

Nadine Wolff said Lauren Spierer "would abuse to the point where she would black out." As reported by USA Today, Jesse threatened to tell Spierer's parents on several occasions. However, she said she would end their relationship if he did.

Talk Murder to Me reports Spierer had been diagnosed with a rare heart condition and her doctors had warned her against using alcohol and drugs. According to witness reports, Spierer was "excessively" drunk and had been using drugs on the morning she vanished.

One theory that has persisted through the years is that Spierer either overdosed or had a medical emergency related to her heart condition. Talk Murder to Me reports some people believe Spierer's death was accidental, and someone disposed of her body because they were afraid they would be implicated in her death.

As reported by Talk Murder to Me, the most likely theory is that Spierer was abducted by a stranger. As she was petite and was severely intoxicated, authorities said she was especially vulnerable and "could have been easily overpowered."

Daily Mail reports, Spierer's parents refuted reports that she was a drug addict and said there was no evidence she used drugs on the night she vanished. The Spierers said they "are appalled that the Wolffs have defamed [their] daughter knowing Lauren will never have the opportunity to respond."

They also said they believe their daughter's friends know more than they are saying.