SPECIAL REPORT: A conversation with Lyric Cook's father from beh - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SPECIAL REPORT: A conversation with Lyric Cook's father from behind bars

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(KWWL) -

Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins went missing July 13, 2012.

About a year and a half later, Lyric's father Dan Morrissey was sentenced to 90 years for multiple, unrelated drug charges.

Early on in the investigation of the disappearance of the cousins, Lyric’s parents spoke to KWWL a handful of times. We haven’t heard from Dan or Misty Morrissey in nearly four years. But recently, Dan has decided to share his story and speak exclusively to KWWL.

July 13, 2012 was a nightmare for the two Evansdale families. A few days after Lyric and Elizabeth went missing, Lyric’s parents spoke to a group of several reporters at Meyers Lake. That’s where the girls’ bikes were found. 

Lyric’s father, Dan in an interview nearly five years ago:

“It’s hard enough to get up and deal with the reality that your daughter is gone.”

FBI divers were called in to search the lake, and eventually decided to drain it. Behind the scenes, investigators were also conducting interviews. But besides waiting for their two little girls to come home, Dan found himself in and out of court on previous, unrelated drug charges. In one of the court hearings he wore a “Bring Elizabeth and Lyric Home” shirt.

He even spoke to KWWL after a court hearing about his daughter, making a plea to the public for their safe return: 

“Lyric if you're out there, I love you baby. I just pray, I just pray that you're okay."

Sadly, the bodies of Lyric and her cousin Elizabeth were found five months later at Seven Bridges Park in Bremer County. About a year later, Dan was sent to prison, convicted on those earlier drug charges.

Now, he is spending at least thirty years at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility in Fort Dodge, Iowa. 

For years, KWWL has asked for an interview with Dan. This time around, the prison turned us down, but Dan wanted to speak with us. He wanted to share his side of the story...

Dan's daughter, Lyric Cook was born on October 2nd, 2001. She’d be 15 now.

“Oh she’d still be smiling and loving everybody. She was just the type of girl that would just brighten up a room. She was just so wonderful just to be around. So trusting and so loving,” says Dan in a phone interview from prison. 

Dan says he thinks about Lyric every day and getting through her death has been a process...a long, difficult process.

“I have God first and I just understand that I need to start to live and to be thankful for every moment that I had with her and grateful for the opportunity to be able to raise her and to love her and to know who she is,” says Dan. 

He says authorities give him yearly updates on the case, and he’s been open and honest with them. 

Dan says despite his troubled past, his past drug use has nothing to do with his daughter’s death. 

“Yeah it doesn’t even make sense if you think about it and play it out," said Dan. "You know, why would this happen? If I had any idea of somebody that was in my life, that I owned money to or had threatened me or anything, you’d think I wouldn’t know who that person is? You know what I mean. So I mean that would be the number one suspect on the case and this thing would have been solved a long time ago. But there is absolutely nobody in my life that I owe money to or that I have told on or anything like that. That has nothing to do with my daughter... And why would they abduct Elizabeth and my daughter at the same time in another town that my daughter’s not even from on a random bike ride that nobody knew they were going to take. It doesn’t make sense." 

Dan says he’s not sure what happened to his daughter and niece, but he believes the murderer’s days are numbered.

“Time is not on their side as far as they have to live with this every day and so they can’t hurt me anymore," said Dan. "They can’t hurt her anymore because I’ve moved on with my life. And my daughter doesn’t have to suffer in this world or anything. So the only person that is suffering now is this person and the other people who haven’t healed like they should yet." 

There is a reward of $150,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person responsible. If anyone has any information, it’s important to call 855-300-8477 or 319-232-6822.

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