Forensic Profiling Blog

Robert O’Block: Two-Year-Old Mystery

by on Jun.01, 2013, under ACFEI, Forensics

Robert O’Block reports that it was two years ago when Lauren Spierer, a sophomore at Indiana University, headed to a party, only to vanish a few hours later.  On this second anniversary of her disappearance, the circumstances surrounding what exactly happened to her are as mysterious as they were on the day she was reported missing, June 3, 2011.

Although officials with the police department indicate they are investigating “all avenues” of this case, they appear to have focused on two theories:  (1) Spierer was alone, walking back to her apartment, and was abducted by a stranger; or (2) she died in the apartment building of three male acquaintances, and her body was later disposed of.

Even though both of these theories are believable, they do pose a problem, according to a former federal law enforcement official.  Mike Harkins, who recently retired from the FBI, advised that stranger abductions are “very rare,” and he also indicated that it is incredibly difficult to hide a body without getting caught.

Spierer’s parents believes their daughter is more than likely dead, and they suspect that the male students who last saw her know what happened to her.

The last people to see Spierer alive are Jay Rosenbaum, Mike Beth, and Corey Rossman, according to law enforcement officials and Spierer’s family. Rossman was seen on surveillance video and by witnesses escorting an obviously inebriated Spierer as they traveled from a popular bar to her apartment, and finally made their way over to his in only a few hours time.

According to investigators, Spierer left her apartment with a friend, David Rohn, not long after midnight.  They made their way to Rosenbaum’s apartment where a party was underway with more than enough alcohol.

Spierer then left with Rossman, whom she had only met a week prior to her disappearance at the Indianapolis 500.  The two walked to Kilroy’s Sports Bar at around 1:46 a.m., and at 2:27 a.m. Spierer was caught on camera leaving the bar without her shoes and cell phone. She and Rossman were headed back to her apartment.

Once they reached her floor in her apartment building, some type of altercation took place between Rossman and another student, Zachary Oakes. Apparently, Oakes punched Rossman to the floor. It’s not clear what caused the fight, but Spierer’s family advise that they were told that Oakes and others instructed Rossman to bring the inebriated woman to her room. An exchange of angry words followed.

A short twelve minutes later Rossman and Spierer left her apartment building and headed to his. Law enforcement officials told that  at one point Rossman was seen carrying Spierer, who seemed to be unable to walk.

There are many questions in regard to what happened next.

Rossman’s roommate, Mike Beth, was said to have helped him to his bed. Beth then walked Spierer down the hall to Rosenbaum’s apartment, who claims that he tried to persuade Spierer to sleep on his couch, but she refused. Rosenbaum then watched from his balcony as Spierer walked home alone in the dark, barefoot and without her cell phone. According to police, the distance between the two apartments was around six minutes.

According to’s sources, various drugs might have been used that night, including Xanax, marijuana, and cocaine. Based on witnesses’ statements, Spierer was severely impaired, falling multiple times and even hitting her head on the concrete. Unbeknownst to most people, Spierer suffered from a heart condition called Long QT Syndrome. This irregular heartbeat did not present any outward symptoms, so few were aware of the condition.

It’s not clear whether her condition that night was caused by her knowingly taking drugs, or by someone slipping her some type of substance without her knowledge.

According to Harkins, if the story that Rosenbaum told investigators is true, then Spierer was a perfect target for a predator.

“Certainly she was a very vulnerable individual,” said Harkins “Her petite size, her condition she was in would have made an easy target for someone looking to commit that type of a crime.”

Brought to you by Robert O’Block


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