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Mother of missing IU student Lauren Spierer tells students to "be safe"

Lauren Spierer disappeared around 4:20 a.m. on Friday. Police say they suspect foul play in the disappearance of a 20-year-old Indiana University student five days ago, but have little information about what happened to her.
A missing person poster of Lauren Spierer. AP Photo/Michael Conroy

(CBS/WISH/AP) BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Charlene Spierer, the mother of missing Indian University student Lauren Spierer, is urging students on the Bloomington campus to choose their friends carefully.

In a letter to the Herald-Times Charlene Spierer also urged students who began the fall term Monday to "be safe" and take care of each other."

In addition, her letter revealed a detail on her daughter's disappearance police have not yet publically released. It says that the 20-year-old from Greenburgh, N.Y., last used her cell phone at 12:16 a.m. on June 3, just hours before she vanished after a night out with friends.

Charlene Spierer writes that her daughter placed that call "when she was still safely in the confines" of Smallwood Plaza - the Bloomington apartment complex where Lauren lived.

The full letter Charlene Spierer wrote for the Herald-Times can be viewed below.

A couple of years ago Lauren told me about a contact I should add to my cell phone. The contact is ICE. For those of you who don't know, ICE stands for 'in case of emergency.' I am Lauren's ICE contact. My husband is my ICE contact and so it goes. Unfortunately, Lauren did not have her cell phone with her when she needed it the most -- June 3, 2011. There has been much speculation in the media about Lauren's disappearance. However, this is a fact ... Lauren last used her cell phone at 12:16 a.m., just after midnight as June 2 became June 3 when she was still safely in the confines of Smallwood. Consider that fact when you read about Lauren's case or hear her story. Let me repeat it: Lauren last used her cell phone at 12:16 a.m., just after midnight as June 2 became June 3 when she was still safely in the confines of Smallwood.

The purpose of what I am sharing with you is not to speculate about what happened. The purpose of this is to encourage people to take precautions to be safe.

Recently, we decided to explore the environs of Bloomington at 3:00 a.m. It was shocking to see a lone girl walking home with no shoes shortly thereafter. We are living with Lauren's disappearance every minute of every day and thought, quite naively, that everyone else is doing the same. I said to someone recently that I hope what happened to Lauren will never happen to another person. That people will learn from this horrific episode in our lives. Alas, he didn't think that would be the case. Clearly, he was correct.

If one person reads these words and benefits from them, we will be thankful. You are not invincible. Bad things happen to good people. You owe it to yourself to be safe. You owe it to yourself to choose your friends wisely and know that they will do the right thing if you need their help. You owe it to yourself to be the person who does the right thing for a friend. 911 -- think about it. Three numbers could make all the difference in the world to you, to a friend, to an acquaintance. Be safe. Choose your friends carefully. Take care of each other when the situation presents itself.

Lauren is a daughter, a sister, a best friend. She could be you. In the blink of an eye, she disappeared on June 3, 2011.

Complete coverage of Lauren Spierer on Crimesider

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