Officials begin draining Meyers Lake, no new clues to find girls - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Officials begin draining Meyers Lake, no new clues in search for missing girls

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Though dragging operations over the weekend turned up nothing, authorities have decided to completely drain Evansdale's Meyers Lake, as they continue the search for Elizabeth Collins and her cousin, Lyric cook.

The lake draining is already underway, and could take 2 days, says Black Hawk County Chief Deputy, Rick Abben.

Curious residents flocked to Meyers Lake Monday night to watch the lake drain.  Authorities, meanwhile, brought in search dogs from Omaha, in an effort to pick up the girls' scent from clothing and other items found near Meyers Lake Friday afternoon, when the girls were last seen.

Authorities are trying other new measures to try and find out what happened to two area girls who are still missing, with seemingly no clues left behind.

Eight-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 10-year-old Lyric Cook were last seen in Evansdale Friday afternoon.  Their bikes and a purse have been found, near Meyers Lake.  Authorities dragged the lake bottom, and were confident the bodies of the two girls were not in the water. Authorities started draining Meyers Lake on Monday to be 100 percent sure.  

Monday, authorities took a new aggressive step in trying to track down any information on the girls whereabouts.

Drivers in Evansdale found a surprise police stop at Gilbert and Evans Roads Monday afternoon.  Every car, every driver were stopped and license plates were logged and ID's checked.

Angela Roquette is glad to see the extra measures in place to track down information that might help locate Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook.

"It's a good thing for sure.  I think every house in Evansdale should be searched, but it's just awful.  We have kids of our own that my girls have ridden around that lake.  They're almost 12.  So it really hits close to home," Roquette said.

The car checks are just the latest step police have taken in an effort to find anything that might lead to the girls' safe return.  Despite dozens of tips coming in, there have been no solid leads to suggest where they could be.

"It wouldn't be proper for me to stand here and tell you we have a theory because we don't.  We have two missing girls, and we have no idea why," said Rick Abben with the Black Hawk Co. Sheriff's Office.

Police are also continuing to canvass neighborhoods across Evansdale, showing photos of the girls.  But so far, all efforts have not provided new insight.  Foul play is not suspected, but all possibilities are being considered.  Some fear the worst, but are still hopeful for a good outcome.

Regardless, many parents here are now keeping a closer eye on their kids.

"They won't be going anywhere anymore, especially around the lake where you can't see," said Roquette.

Police say that's wise, and their search for the missing girls will continue until they are found.

"This is a 24/7 operation by law enforcement.  The guys are still, for lack of better words, going great guns to find these two, to get them safely back home," Abben said.

Police say there's no custodial issues with the girls' parents, and multiple family members and friends have been questioned since their disappearance.

They've also checked in with known sex offenders in the area, and have even visited with I-380 construction workers staying in the area.  They're grasping straws for any information that could lead to the girls' safe return.

Deputy Abben says it's taken three days to drain Meyers Lake in the past, but it could be a shorter amount of time since the Cedar River has been low.

They also have no possible suspects or vehicle description.  The bicycles and purse are the only items belonging to the girls that have been recovered over the past four days.

Deputies say they still want to talk with anyone who saw the girls on Friday or even traveled the bike trails that day.  You're asked to call their tip line at 319-232-6682.

From here out, authorities plan to hold daily press briefings at 4 p.m. with any updates on the investigation.


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