UPDATE: Missing girls search continues with little new evidence - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Missing girls search continues with little new evidence

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EVANSDALE (KWWL) -

Officials are now looking for a person who may have been paddle boating at Meyers Lake the day two missing girls vanished ten days ago.

The boater would have been on the Evansdale lake on July 13, where bikes were found that belong to 10-year-old Lyric Cook and eight-year-old Elizabeth Collins. No trace of the cousins has been seen ever since. Officials say the boater is not a suspect, but that investigators really need to talk with the person. So far, the boater has not answered repeated pleas to the public for information in the case.

Authorities are also asking anyone in Evansdale with home or commercial surveillance cameras to contact police. They are pursuing every lead that comes in on the tip lines and continue to look for new evidence.

Meyers Lake is no longer the focus of the ongoing search for the girls, but it still draws many folks praying for their safe return.

"Walking the trail and making sure there's no new signs.  And I've been washing my shirt every night so I can spread the word and hopefully someone will see it and make a difference," said Mary Gosse of Evansdale.

Gosse lives near Meyers Lake, and was even on the trail Friday but says the park was empty then. Still, every lead, no matter how small, is being tracked down.  That's why if you were near Meyers Lake on July 13, you're urged to call police.

"Don't assume we know what you know.  There was a gentleman who regularly runs around the lake.  He didn't see either one of the girls.  So he thought, 'What reason is there for me to contact authorities?'  But he did see their bikes and was able to pinpoint the time of the day he saw the bikes.  Small details are really important to the investigation," said Sandy Breault/FBI Spokesperson.

While authorities aren't saying much about their investigation, they confirm there's credible evidence the girls are alive, and don't believe releasing that information will endanger them. Authorities say physical evidence has been sent to the Department of Criminal Investigations lab in Ankeny for analysis. They will not say what the evidence is or how much evidence they have collected.

Mary Gosse hopes they're right.

"It seems like too many things are happening, but you know I still feel like hopefully we're safe and they'll find them,"said Gosse.

On Monday, investigators said the family has been more cooperative after several days of tension. The parents of Lyric Cook had obtained a lawyer and temporarily refused to cooperate with investigators after what they described as aggressive questioning. The couple have criminal records and have said publicly that they have felt like suspects.

Authorities have questioned sex offenders in the area, extensively searched the area around the lake, conducted door to door searches and set up traffic stops to question drivers.

There is a $50,000 reward for information leading to the return of the missing girls.

If you have any information that might help investigators locate these two girls, you can call any of the following numbers:

Cedar Valley Crimestoppers (855) 300-TIPS

FBI (402) 493-8688

Iowa DCI (515) 725-6010

Evansdale Police Tip Line (319) 232-6682

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