Published July 27, 2013
The attorney for a man being sued for wrongful death by the parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer is seeking to have the case dismissed because there's no proof the woman has been injured or is dead.
Greg Garrison represents Michael Beth in the civil lawsuit. He filed the new motion Thursday in federal court in Indianapolis, along with attorneys for Jason "Jay" Rosenbaum and Corey Rossman, the other two defendants in the complaint.
Garrison said Spierer's two-year disappearance isn't enough to presume she's dead. WRTV-TV reported that Indiana law requires a person to be "inexplicably absent for a continuous period of seven years" to be presumed dead.
Garrison was not immediately available when contacted Friday by FoxNews.com.
Spierer, 20, was last seen in June 2011 after a night of drinking in Bloomington. Beth claims he tried to get her to sleep on his couch that night and when she refused, he escorted her to Jay Rosenbaum's apartment, which was down the hallway from the apartment Beth shared with Rossman.
Rob and Charlene Spierer, the young woman's parents, have said their daughter is likely dead and suspect the male students last seen with her have knowledge of what happened to her.
Rosenbaum, Beth, and Rossman were the last known people to see Spierer alive.
According to investigators, Spierer, a fashion merchandising major, left her Smallwood Apartment complex with a friend, David Rohn, shortly after midnight. The two headed to Rosenbaum's apartment, where other students had gathered with ample amounts of alcohol.
Spierer then left with Rossman, whom she had met a week prior at the Indianapolis 500, and walked to Kilroy's Sports Bar at 1:46 a.m. Spierer, who was not of legal drinking age, entered the popular hangout, which has a sandy, outdoor beach-like area where students often walk barefoot. At 2:27 a.m., Spierer was seen on camera leaving the bar without her shoes or cell phone and heading, with Rossman, back to her apartment complex.
Upon reaching her floor at Smallwood, an altercation occurred between Rossman and another student, Zachary Oakes, according to the woman's family. Oakes, they said, punched Rossman to the floor. It’s not clear what precipitated the fight, but the Spierers say they were told Oakes and others ordered Rossman to bring the inebriated woman to her room – and that an exchange of angry words ensued.
Twelve minutes later, Rossman and Lauren left Smallwood and walked through an alleyway enroute to Rossman’s apartment building. Law enforcement sources previously told FoxNews.com that Rossman was at one point seen carrying Spierer, who appeared unable to walk.
Rossman has said he lost all memory after being punched by Oakes – a claim Rob Spierer called "a story of convenience," in an interview last month with Fox News.
"How they both got back to Corey’s apartment had to be a result of the initiative of Corey and certainly not Lauren, so I don’t know how bad a shape he could have been in because he was able to get both he and Lauren back to his apartment after he got hit at Smallwood," Spierer said.
Many questions surround what happened next.
Mike Beth, Rossman’s roommate, was said to have helped him to his bed. Beth, who was working on a class assignment, then walked Spierer down the hallway to Rosenbaum’s apartment. Rosenbaum, who had two non-students staying with him that weekend, claims he tried to convince Spierer to sleep on his couch. After she refused, according to Rosenbaum, he watched from his balcony as Spierer – barefoot and without her cell phone – walked home alone in the dark. The distance between the two apartments was approximately six minutes, according to police.
Anyone with information on the case – however small – is urged to call the Bloomington Police Department 24-hour tipline at 812-339-4477 or contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FoxNews.com's Cristina Corbin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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