(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) — A lawsuit filed by the parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer against three men who were allegedly with her the night she disappeared is heading to federal court.
Spierer, 21, vanished on June 3, 2011, after a night out with friends in Bloomington, Ind., that included heavy drinking.
Spierer’s parents, Rob and Charlene Spierer, of Greenburgh, N.Y., filed the lawsuit against Corey Rossman, Jason Rosenbaum and Michael Beth, who they say were the last three people to see their daughter. The Spierers believe the actions — and inactions — of the men may have resulted in their daughter’s disappearance and possible death, according to the lawsuit.
“Spierer’s abandonment in an intoxicated and disoriented state in the early morning hours of June 3, 2011, in an area known for criminal acts contributed to her disappearance, and presumed injuries and death,” the lawsuit states.
The Spierers are suing Rossman, Rosenbaum and Beth on grounds of negligence that resulted in the disappearance, death or injury of an adult child, and are seeking damages against the three men for allegedly providing alcohol to someone who was clearly intoxicated.
The lawsuit was filed in Monroe County on May 31, 2013, but moved to federal court on June 20. The lawsuit was posted online by ABC’s Indianapolis affiliate, WRTV.
The Spierers said in a statement released through their attorney Jason Barclay that the lawsuit was filed with “great reluctance” and only after they found out they would lose certain legal rights if they were not exercised by the two-year anniversary of Lauren’s disappearance.
“Any parent in search of information about a missing child would use every resource available to them,” the statement said. “Therefore, we intend to use the rights afforded by the civil justice system to obtain answers to questions that have gone unanswered for too long. We fully expect that those with relevant information will cooperate with this process.”
The lawsuit also details the alleged events of the night Spierer was last seen.
It describes the party Spierer allegedly attended at Rosenbaum’s residence, the fact that she “appeared intoxicated” and was eventually taken to a Kilroy’s Sports Bar a few blocks away.
“At least one witness observed that as Spierer entered Kilroy’s she appeared intoxicated, had trouble standing and relied on Rossman’s assistance to walk,” according to the suit. “Rossman purchased, provided and helped Spierer consume multiple additional alcoholic beverages.”
The lawsuit goes on to chronicle how close an “extremely intoxicated” Spierer got to her apartment with Rossman, a confrontation he had near an elevator, leaving her apartment complex, going back to Rossman and Beth’s apartment and then finally to Rosenbaum’s apartment, where she eventually left on her own.
She was last seen walking on the street at approximately 4:30 a.m.
“After nearly two years of intensive searches, Spierer has never been located and is presumed to have suffered injuries that resulted in her death,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit claims that the three men owed her a “duty of care,” which they failed to provide.
Rosenbaum’s attorney declined to comment on the lawsuit, and Beth and Rossman’s respective attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Spierer’s parents have publicly criticized Lauren’s friends who have been uncooperative ever since her disappearance.
They told Katie Couric in December 2012 that they were “stonewalled” by Spierer’s friends, and that they do not believe their daughter’s disappearance was a “random abduction.”
“We have these boys that were there that night that clammed up, shut down, lawyered up,” Robert Spierer said on Katie.
“I’m frustrated and I’m angry at this point. We’ve been stonewalled, to some extent, by the last people to see Lauren, and despite their claims of doing whatever they could do, the fact of the matter is they refused to meet with us except for one of the boys,” he said.
Most of the men refused to take police polygraph tests and instead took “independent polygraphs.”
Since Lauren’s disappearance, multiple discoveries of remains have been reported in the area. None were identified as Lauren’s.
Police have said the search for Spierer is still an active investigation. The Spierer family has retained its own private investigators to follow up on tips and leads.
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