Mother asks for release of missing girls, lake drain continues - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mother asks for release of missing girls, lake drain continues

Posted: Updated: July 18, 2012 10:21 PM

While law enforcement continue to drain Meyers Lake, parents of one of the missing girls believe their daughter will not be found there.

Eight-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 10-year-old Lyric Cook have been missing since Friday afternoon. The cousins went on a bike ride around 12:30 p.m. Their bikes were found near Meyers Lake in Evansdale.

Wednesday morning, Misty Cook-Morrissey, Lyric's mother, asked any abductor to return the missing girls. 

"Bring our kids home, bring them home, bring them home now," Cook-Morrissey said. "Let them go anywhere, let them go at a gas station, just let them go, you know. And we are waiting for you girls, we are waiting, standing right here waiting for you."

KWWL has also learned divers may be brought in to help in the lake search. 

Authorities extensively searched the lake, but are now completely draining the lake to uncover any evidence of what might have happened to the girls. Cook-Morrissey says she is glad officials are draining the lake so that it can be ruled out as a possible location of the girls.

"Let's be 100 percent sure. And the only way to do that is to drain the lake," said Richard Abben of the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office.

Dan Morrissey and Misty Cook-Morrissey say Lyric was a strong swimmer. They also believe the girls would have taken off their shoes if they went swimming and no shoes were found with the bikes.

"The area where the bikes were found is fenced in on both sides...That is a spot to me that looks like a trap. For an abduction to happen, somebody just come along right then or maybe followed 'em down. It would be the worst spot for them to be in, that little secluded area," Morrissey said.

During Tuesday's news conference, Abben said investigators are continuing to explore every angle to find the cousins.

"There's still officers combing the area on foot. They're out in teams, there's two officer teams. And they're still out walking the area. They're still interviewing people," said Abben.

Abben said they are pursuing this as a missing person's case.  But they are following up on leads which indicate otherwise.  Investigators have interviewed the girls' family members regarding their whereabouts when the cousins went missing.

"Everyone is a suspect. We've talked to the parents and we don't have any reason to believe there's been foul play," he said.

Both parents believe the girls were abducted. The two thanked both local and national law enforcement for their thoroughness in the search.

"They are the professionals, they know what they're doing. They've got their processes. They're experienced. So we trust that they're doing everything that they can," Cook-Morrissey said.

The parents say each day is harder than the one before.

"It's hard actually at night time it is the hardest. It starts to get dark and people start going home and there seems to be a lot more time to just be on your own and think and that's probably the hardest time. So sometimes we come down here and walk around by ourselves," Cook-Morrissey said.

Both parents thanked the community for their continued support.

"People that have joined such as friends, family, people we don't know, the entire community, the surrounding areas it's just wonderful ya know. People do want to help and they do care. We're extremely grateful and if it was somebody else's child we'd be there for them as well," Cook-Morrissey said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the tipline: 319-232-6682.

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