Crime Watch 8

Prosecutor’s theory connects murderer, Lauren Spierer’s disappearance

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Brown County prosecutor believes a man convicted of killing an Indiana University student may possibly be connected to the disappearance of another IU student: Lauren Spierer.

Ted Adams said this is only his theory on what happened to Spierer. Adams helped to convict Daniel Messel in the murder of Hannah Wilson.

He said while his team was trying to figure out a motive in Wilson’s case, they discovered a chilling pattern.

Adams described the discovery in a three-page letter he wrote and released Tuesday. He believes there could be a connection between Messel and the disappearance of Spierer.

Her family reported her missing in June 2011 after a night out with friends. Since then, police received thousands of tips but have been unable to make an arrest in the case or figure out what happened to her.

But in the summer and fall of 2012, Adams said five women reported being harassed and, in one case, a woman reported she was sexually assaulted. The description of the attacker was very similar to Messel.

Adams tried to submit the testimony of the sexual assault victim in the trial for Wilson’s murder, but a judge did not allow it.

“Our witness was unable to identify Daniel Messel as the man who assaulted her; she was unable to identify him in 2012 when making a police report,” Adams said.

But Adams said he believes Messel targeted the woman in a specific area of Bloomington, which he described as the zone of danger. Spierer was last seen walking in the northern edge of the zone.

“Her disappearance and vulnerability is consistent with the zone of danger of Daniel Messel, a convicted murderer; a man who was found to have plucked a young student from that same zone of danger and intentionally killing her,” Adams said.

Messel is also facing charges from a September 2012 rape case. He was connected to that crime through DNA evidence. His attorney filed a motion for a change of venue and that hearing is scheduled for next January.

24-Hour News 8 reached out to Spierer’s family and they had no comment.

24-Hour News 8 also reached out to Messel’s attorney, but did not hear back Tuesday night.