FBI believes missing Evansdale cousins are still alive - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

FBI believes missing Evansdale cousins are still alive

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EVANSDALE (KWWL) -

Saturday marked day 9 of the search for Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook.  Authorities revealed their belief that the two missing cousins are still alive. Elizabeth and Lyric disappeared last Friday on a bike ride through Evansdale. Their bikes were found that afternoon near Meyers Lake.

After draining the lake and bringing in FBI dive teams to investigate the deepest parts, investigators are now confident the girls were kidnapped.

Saturday, FBI spokesperson Sandy Breault confirmed that, while they still don't know where the girls are, they have evidence to indicate they are still alive, and being held somewhere. That evidence is currently being processed.

"We feel there is someone out there that has pertinent information about the girls' whereabouts. And we'd like to take this opportunity to ask them to come forward. The community needs Lyric and Elizabeth back," said Breault.

That comment came following a week-long outpouring of support from the community. From candlelight vigils to balloon launchings, hundreds of people have rallied around the Collins and Cook families.

Saturday morning was no different. Dozens of families in Waterloo gathered for a run on the trails in the girls' honor.

Elizabeth Chihak was one of the participants. She said she doesn't know the family, but has been dedicated to finding the cousins since the search began one week ago.

"Nobody can find them, there's no leads, no nothing. It's like, they're gone. Vanished into thin air," she said.

The run was organized by several people, including Lisa Helland. Helland said organizers did not know each other prior to the event, but have worked together in a very short time to find donations and put on a successful event.

"I knew what all went into a 5K, and we didn't have time. So I suggested a fun run, where everybody could come. You could walk, roll, bike, roller blade," said Helland.

It's just one of many events organized to raise money for the family, and raise awareness about the girls disappearance. Just a few hours after the event wrapped up, investigators offered some promising news.

"We have some things that we can't discuss to lead us to believe that they are alive. We're thinking of the girls right now," said Breault.

Breault says, they are interviewing what she called, "people of interest." In recent days, the media attention has shifted toward Lyric's mother and father, Misty Morrissey-Cook and Dan Morrissey, who both have lengthy criminal records. Morrissey-Cook's opinion of the FBI has shifted as well -- telling our reporters Friday she was accused of taking the children, and is frustrated with the progress made so far.

Breault wouldn't say who, but did confirm some members of the family are no longer working with investigators.

"It's a big hindrance. It's a road block. Definitely a road block. We need total cooperation," she said.

Breault also said there are new faces -- new investigators -- coming into the case to relieve those who have been working non-stop since last week. She said that offers a fresh perspective to the case. She also mentioned, it's helpful that there are two girls missing, not one.

While there are fewer law enforcement agents on Evansdale streets and around Meyers Lake than last week, Breault says this case is still a top priority for the FBI. She added, several search warrants have been issued related to the missing girls.

Meanwhile, the folks at Saturday's walk said they're trying to stay focused on finding Elizabeth and Lyric. They're hoping that by keeping the girls' names and pictures in the forefront, someone will recognize their faces and come forward.

"Just that the word gets spread," said Chihak. "Everybody comes together and gets the word out."

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