By Jueseppi B.
This combo made from undated photos provided by the FBI shows cousins Lyric Cook, 10, right, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, who have been missing since Friday, July 13, 2012. (AP Photo/FBI)
Posted on: 4:32 pm, December 5, 2012, by Shellie Nelson, updated on: 10:38pm, December 5, 2012
From WQAD 8 Quad Cities
Nearly five months after they vanished, authorities said hunters found bodies believed to be those of two Iowa girls missing since July.
The discovery was made during the noon hour Wednesday, December 5, 2012.
The bodies were still to be examined by the state medical examiner for positive identification.
The announcement was made at a news conference held just before 4:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, December 5, 2012 at the Evansdale Police Department.
Black Hawk County Chief Deputy Rick Abben said law enforcement is still interested in any tips from the public concerning the girls’ disappearance.
Abben thanked volunteers, media and law enforcement agencies who assisted in circulating information and in helping with the search for the girls.
He did not disclose where the bodies were found, and declined to answer questions about whether the location had been previously searched.
“Right now it’s looking that the outcome was not the one that we want,” Abben said.
Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook were last seen by their grandmother July 13, 2012 when the girls went on a bike ride in Evansdale, Iowa.
When they didn’t return home, the girls were reported missing. Their bikes and a purse were found near Meyers Lake that same day.
The lake was drained during the search for the girls. When no bodies were found there, investigators said they believed the girls were abducted.
Lyric and Elizabeth have each had a birthday pass since they disappeared. Elizabeth turned 9 and Lyric turned 11.
Shawn Gant, 40, reportedly told the U.S. Attorney’s office he knew where the girls were. He later denied making the claim.
When they marked four months since the girls’ disappearance, supporters traveled statewide to remind people the girls were still missing. Elizabeth’s mother, Heather Collins, was in Davenport, Iowa that day to hang flyers on downtown businesses.
An email address and telephone hotline number were set up for tips concerning the missing girls.
Almost immediately after the discovery was announced to media, a Facebook page “Rest in Peace Lyric Cook Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins” was started in remembrance of the girls.
Another news conference was planned for Thursday, December 6 at 4 p.m.
A sign is posted in Waterloo, Iowa, on July 19, 2012, for missing cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey, then 10, and Elizabeth Collins, then 8.(Photo: Matthew Putney, AP)
2 Bodies found believed to be Iowa girls who went missing in July
Published on Dec 5, 2012
Bodies found believed to be Iowa girls who went missing in July
Two bodies found Wednesday appear to be the remains of cousins who disappeared last July in Evansdale, Iowa, police said Wednesday.
Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook disappeared on July 13 shortly after they left their grandmother’s house. Collins was 8 years old and Cook was 10 at the time of their disappearance.
Hunters found the bodies in a wooded area, Capt. Rick Abben of the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s office said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
The girls’ families had been notified, he said, but positive identification of the bodies will be determined by the state medical examiner.
“It’s definitely not the outcome that we wanted, obviously,” Abben told reporters, according to The Associated Press. “This is a difficult thing for us to go through. It’s a difficult thing for the community.”
Abben did not say if police had a suspect in the case, but said another news conference would be held Thursday.
The girls’ bikes and a purse were initially found near Lake Meyer, prompting investigators to send in divers with sonar.
When no signs of the girls were found at the lake, officials reclassified the case as an abduction.
“Now that it’s an abduction, everyone’s a suspect,” Abben said at the time, adding that investigators had recovered some evidence and sent it to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation for analysis. He declined to say what the evidence was or where it was found.
Police had offered a $50,000 reward for information to help find the girls. Last week, an anonymous donor also pledged a $100,000 reward for information, the AP reported.
Authorities are asking anyone who saw the girls to call the Tip Line,(319) 232-6682. It’s manned 24 hours.
A reward of $50,000 has also been offered to the person or persons who can help find the girls.
Other tip lines:
– Crime Stoppers Hotline at (855) 300-8477
– FBI tipline at (402) 493-8688
– DCI tipline at (515) 725-6010
For information on donations, contact the First Security Bank in Evansdale at (319) 235-6731.