(BLOOMINGTON) - The parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer hope a picture of a ring their daughter wore might help crack the case.
The Spierers released the picture on Tuesday, saying it was similar to one their daughter would have been wearing the night she went missing.
It was a gift for her 20th birthday.
Lauren Spierer, now 21, disappeared after a night out with friends in Bloomington on June 3, 2011.
"It's pretty distinctive," investigator Tim Wilcox said of the ring. "If someone sold it on eBay, Amazon or Craigslist, somebody might recognize it."
The buyer might now call police, or maybe someone saw the ring in possession of Spierer's abductor. Serial criminals sometimes keep trophies of their victims.
"They need to keep dribbling out leads over a period of time to keep her face and situation in front of everybody," said Wilcox, with Indianapolis-based International Investigators.
The family posted a photo of the ring on FindLauren.com. Anything small can lead to answers, they say.
The photo has at least one business in Bloomington checking their records.
"It looks like silver with turquoise. If I could get a brand name out of it. It's unique," said Tom Haggerty with TomCats Pawn Shop.
Haggerty will check his records at his three stores. He keeps detailed descriptions of his items, plus photo IDs of sellers and their thumbprints, but "there's several other ways the thing could be disposed of. We have gold buyers coming into Bloomington and setting up in Holiday Inns. They don't do the paperwork we do."
In fact, Haggerty says, "a smart man would not pawn it."
Wilcox says only a few Indiana counties have tough requirements for keeping records of pawn shop transactions.
The case remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact the Bloomington Police Department or the Spierer. Tips can be left anonymously.
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