There could be some new developments in the Lauren Spierer disappearance after it's been reported that human remains were discovered in Illinois. While dead bodies are seemingly found daily by the dozen in the U.S., there appears to be a connection between the recent discovery and the missing Bloomington, Indiana fashion student. Apparently a set of skeletal remains were discovered near Newton, IL last month. How it took so long to make headlines is a shock considering this is one high-profile missing persons case.
Anyway, officials are awaiting crime lab results of the skeletal remains found in Illinois last month to determine whether they could match Lauren Spierer. So how did the remains in Illinois wind up being connected to a disappearance out of Bloomington, Indiana? Newton is approximately 100 mile west of Bloomington, Indiana -- which is where Lauren was last seen in the early morning hours of June 3, 2011.
The earliest reports covering the body found in Newton, IL specifically state that a human skull was found in a wooded area. The Jasper County Sheriff's Department reportedly contacted several investigative bodies regarding missing persons, including in Bloomington, Indiana.
So there doesn't appear to be any real connection between these remains and the disappearance of Lauren Spierer aside from the geography being relatively easy to travel for someone--if they were, by chance, aiming to dispose of a missing person from another town. That makes sense, but what other variables could connect the two cases? Were there any identifying features on the skull such as hair attached or any remains with clothing intact? Were there any other pieces of evidence nearby indicating whether the person had died there or was dumped there?
There are far too many questions to ask and they may never be answered. There have been at least three bodies found in the course of Lauren's case, and none of them have ended up connected. It would be positive if this discovery at least brings closure to the Spierer family, but it seems like a longshot.
Crime analyst and profiler Chelsea Hoffman can be found on The Huffington Post, Chelsea Hoffman: Case to Case and many other outlets. Follow @TheRealChelseaH on Twitter or click here to contact Chelsea directly.