Missing-person poster of Lauren Spierer
08/03/2012 at 02:30 PM EDT
A tooth from a skull found in an Indianapolis's White River is being tested for a match to missing
Indiana University student Lauren Spierer.
Authorities cautioned they have no information tying the remains to the 20-year-old sophomore, who vanished in June 2011 from Bloomington after a night out with friends, and that other bodies have been found in the region that were not hers.
The discovery of the skull July 8 by a fisherman means more anxious waiting by Spierer's loved ones while forensic scientists conduct tests.
"It could take as long as eight weeks," Spierer's mother says in an open letter.
"That's 80,640 minutes of agony. We are waiting to find out if a skull found in the White River might be Lauren's. It's chilling to say the words."
While identifying the skull could take two months, authorities were hoping for a faster ID by comparing a tooth to Spierer's dental records, the Marion County, Ind., Coroner’s Office says.