The day after hunters found two bodies in Iowa, authorities say they’re confident the remains are of two Evansdale girls missing since July.
Lyric Cook-Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins were last seen when they went for a bike ride July 13, 2012. Their bicycles and a purse were found near Meyers Lake. Volunteers, investigators and family members spent months searching for the girls.
Hunters made the discovery at about 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, December 5, 2012. Police are now confirming the remains were found in the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area in Bremer County, Iowa.
Black Hawk County Chief Deputy Rick Abben said the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area is closed to the public until at least Monday, December 10, 2012 as investigators continue to search there for clues in the case.
Positive forensic identification has not yet been made on the remains, which were sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Ankeny.
Abben said the combination of evidence at the scene and preliminary investigation there make police confident the bodies are Lyric Cook-Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins. He said the bodies were “smaller in stature” and that the girls were the only reported missing persons in the area.
Abben said the investigation is proceeding as if it is an abduction. He said investigators still need to hear from anyone with information about the case, especially if you know anything about any suspicious activity around the Seven Bridges area after the girls were reported missing July 13.
A $150,000 reward is still available through the state’s division of criminal investigation, and donations continued to be made to a separate reward fund as well. Those funds are available for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the girls’ disappearance and death.
Anyone with information can call Evansdale Police at (309) 232-6682 or Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-855-300-8477. Information can also be submitted online at http://www.dps.state.ia.us/.
For more video and coverage of the girls’ disappearance and the discovery of the bodies, click here.