UPDATE: Authorities `Confident' Bodies are 2 Iowa Cousins

UPDATED Thursday, December 6, 2012 --- 4:25 p.m.

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) -- Authorities say they're "confident" bodies found in an isolated wildlife area are those of two young Iowa cousins who disappeared while riding their bikes last summer.

Black Hawk County sheriff's Capt. Rick Abben said that's based on evidence at the scene and the preliminary investigation. However, autopsies are still pending.

Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins vanished while riding bikes in Evansdale in July. Elizabeth was 8 and Lyric was 10.

Hunters found the bodies Wednesday in a rural park about 25 miles away.

Local and state police and the FBI joined in a massive search that continued for months after the girls disappeared. No one has been charged in the case.

Evansdale is about 90 miles northeast of Des Moines.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


UPDATED Tuesday, July 24, 2012 --- 12:34 p.m.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- The grandmother who was babysitting two Iowa cousins when they disappeared more than a week ago while riding bikes says she has no idea how they ended up more than a mile away by a lake.

Wylma Cook told The Associated Press Tuesday that Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins occasionally rode bikes while she was babysitting them at Collins' home in Evansdale but usually stayed close. Cook says she's baffled how their bikes ended up near Meyers Lake because "they never rode that far."

Cook says Lyric knew she had to return shortly because they were planning to leave to return to their home in Waterloo. She says she expected the girls to come back for drink of water or juice as they always did on hot days.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


UPDATED Monday, July 23, 2012 --- 8:25 a.m.

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) -- Investigators are asking for the public's help in the search two missing Iowa girls who were last seen riding their bikes near a lake.

FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault said Sunday that investigators want to talk to anyone who was at Meyers Lake in Evansdale before 3 p.m. July 13. That's where 10-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins were last seen.

Breault says investigators believe even the smallest details could be crucial in this case, so she encouraged anyone who'd been at the lake to call -- even if they didn't see the girls.

Breault declined to comment on details of the investigation Sunday. She says no arrests had been made, but that officials believe the girls remain alive.

Breault says investigators are following every lead in the case.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


UPDATED Friday, July 20, 2012 --- 4:40 p.m.

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) -- A law enforcement official says the search for two missing Iowa girls is being classified as an abduction after an FBI team failed to find their bodies in a lake.

Black Hawk County Chief Deputy Rick Abben told reporters Friday that the case was reclassified after FBI divers were confident the bodies of 10-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins are not on the bottom of Meyers Lake in Evansdale.

The cousins disappeared a week ago while riding bikes near the lake.

Abben says investigators have sent evidence to a state crime lab for analysis. He would not elaborate or say what the evidence was.

He says investigators do not believe the girls are lost because they would have been found by now.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


Posted Tuesday, July 17, 2012 --- 7:35 a.m.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- With the trail apparently cold in the search for two missing Iowa girls, the FBI is sending in search dogs and local authorities are draining a lake near where the girls' bicycles were found.

Elizabeth Collins, 8, and her cousin Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, were last reported seen Friday afternoon leaving their grandmother's house. Their bicycles and Elizabeth's purse were found later that day near a bike trail at the edge of Meyers Lake in the northeast Iowa city of Evansdale.

What followed was a massive sweep of the area that drew hundreds of volunteers over the weekend. But authorities suspended that effort Monday, saying it had failed to produce significant leads.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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