Written by Kera Mashek, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook
CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -
Monday will mark one month since 9-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 10-year-old Lyric Cook disappeared in Evansdale.
The girls were last seen riding their bikes through Evansdale July 13th. Investigators continue following leads, but so far have come up empty.
Sunday evening, the girls' family and friends gathered in Cedar Falls, continuing to pray for their safe return.
Bright pink has come to symbolize the two young eastern Iowa girls, missing for a month now. Their names and faces adorn t-shirts, bracelets, and buttons.
Shawna Matz and her daughters have never met Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook, but want to do anything they can to support the girls and their families.
"Just any way that we can show our support and continue to keep the story alive and gain awareness, we want to do that because I'd want the community to come together if I were ever in that situation," Matz said.
Heather and Drew Collins say it's hard to believe just how much time has gone by since they last saw their daughter Elizabeth. But they have not given up one ounce of hope that she and cousin Lyric will be found alive.
"Every morning we wake up and we're just like, 'Ok, Lord. Yesterday wasn't the day, but today is,' you know. So we just keep praying," said Heather Collins.
The family's faced emotional and financial challenges since the girls disappeared. That's why their church community and friends wanted to organize Sunday's "Open Arms Awareness and Fundraiser" event.
"I think it gets harder by the day. You have to think about if your children were gone for a month. A month is a long time. So we're just trying to do positive things to keep awareness and show them support because at this point that's all we can do," said Sarah Curl, event organizer.
Money raised Sunday will be split between the girls' legal guardians--Lyric's grandma Wylma and Elizabeth's parents Heather & Drew--and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which just might help locate the Iowa cousins and other missing kids.
The outpouring of support is overwhelming, and continues to keep this community believing someone will come forward with information to bring Lyric and Elizabeth home.
"We know there's somebody out there that knows something, that saw something little they might not think is important, or maybe they're scared to come forward. So we're just waiting for that person to have the courage to come forward and break this wide open," Drew Collins said.
If you have any information about the two missing girls, call the tip line at (319) 232-6682. There's a $50,000 dollar reward for information leading to their whereabouts.
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