WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The signs became synonymous with the search.
They showed a fresh-faced, smiling young woman with blue eyes and blond hair, next to the word "MISSING" in bold red letters.
Lauren Spierer, a 20-year-old Indiana University sophomore from Edgemont, N.Y., would become a household name, and the signs, posted by volunteers throughout Bloomington, Ind., would remind people that she was still missing.
Now, more than two years since Spierer's June 3, 2011, disappearance after a night of drinking, the city had the 20 billboard-style signs removed, in what the mayor's office described as an effort to balance many and varied community interests. It was just last spring that firefighters upgraded the signs.
Charlene Spierer, the missing student's mother, told The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News on Monday that she's saddened by the news, which she learned about through a friend. The city never notified her, she said. Still, she has a hard time expressing disappointment at the city.
"It's a fine line you walk between trying to do everything we can for Lauren, and yet not wanting to offend everybody that has been incredibly helpful and supportive to us," she said. "People in Bloomington have been wonderful to us, and they still are."
Yet she wishes the signs would be kept up.
"I feel like they serve a purpose," she said. "The purpose is that Lauren not be forgotten. The last place she was at was Bloomington."
Charlene Spierer said she hopes someone will see the sign and call the police tip-line that's listed.
"Maybe someone who has that one piece of information will see the sign one last time, and have a crisis of conscience, and it's enough that they call the police department so the case can move forward," she said.
Shawn Cohen, The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News