A poster for Lauren Spierer, the Greenburgh native who has...

A poster for Lauren Spierer, the Greenburgh native who has been missing since June 2011. (June 6, 2011) Credit: AP

The discovery of a human skull in an Indianapolis river has a Scarsdale family holding its breath as authorities try to identify the remains.

The family of Lauren Spierer posted a message on their Facebook page Saturday with a link to a news report about the discovery of the skull.

"In the days ahead, a family will have answers they have been desperately seeking," the message reads. "Will it be ours? When will you end this nightmare for our family?"

Spierer, a 20-year-old Indiana University student, was last seen on June 3, 2011, when she left a friend's apartment in Bloomington, Ind. Despite widespread media coverage and repeated appeals from her family, no one has reported seeing Spierer and leads provided to police haven't panned out.

The skull was found Monday by a fisherman in shallow waters near the east bank of the White River, according to Indianapolis Metro Police. Alfie Ballew, deputy coroner for Marion County, told WXIN in Indianapolis that the skull "has been submerged for some time, at least more than a year."

The water where the skull was found is just a few feet deep. If not for summer drought conditions in the Indianapolis area, authorities said, the skull may have remained submerged.

The teeth are intact, Ballew said, so investigators may be able to use dental records in addition to DNA to identify the person. So far, authorities do not know the race or gender of the person . Lab results could take weeks.

The area where the skull was found is more than 50 miles from Bloomington, where Spierer went to school, but the Spierer family has been following news of the investigation.

So have other families, Ballew said.

"We've already started to get calls from people who have reported their loved ones missing," Ballew told WXIN.

Calls to the Marion County Coroner's Office were not immediately returned Saturday.

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