Two Evansdale Girls Kidnapped and Murdered Ten Years Ago
In two days, Wednesday, July 13, it will be the tenth anniversary of 10-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins' disappearance. It's an abduction and murder case that still haunts the Cedar Valley.
Under the watch of their grandmother at Collins’ family home in Evansdale, the girls went for a bike ride around noon that day. They never returned.
After a brief search of the neighborhood by friends and family, they were reported missing to the Evansdale police that afternoon.
During the search for the girls, a first-responder located their bicycles on the southeastern corner of Meyers Lake -- Elizabeth's purse was also there, thrown over a fence separating the nearby trail and the lake.
Per KCRG, an investigator told the station in May of this year that "from the get-go, it was obvious the girls had been abducted."
A week after their disappearance and continued search, on July 20, 2012, Capt. Rick Abben with the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the community-wide suspicion and fear -- this was believed to be an abduction.
Lyric's mother, Misty Cook said this in August of 2012, regarding the waiting:
It’s just very sad. Every day is just very sad, just crying out to God to please let this be the day. To let this be the day that they come home, or that we find something.
In one of my classes at UNI -- Investigative Journalism -- we were lucky enough to have one of the girls' fathers, several sisters/cousins, and a grandmother attend and tell us about this case.
Though I must paraphrase as I don't remember the exact quote, what I remember most from Drew Collins -- father of Elizabeth -- is his telling of the horrible waiting. He said that he, and sometimes the remainder of his family, would sit on their porch every night, hoping to see the girls walking up the street.
It's heartbreaking to even think about.
On December 5, 2012, the search for the girls became the search for their killer. Two hunters found their remains under a bridge in Seven Bridges Wildlife Area, a former county park in rural Bremer County. The area is about 20 miles away from Evansdale.
There have been a variety of leads authorities have followed, including "In June 2013, investigators said they were seeking information after receiving three different tips about a white SUV seen in the area where the girls disappeared in Evansdale. The SUV was described as white and full-sized, similar to a Chevy Suburban or Ford Bronco," according to KCRG.
It was added that "investigators believe the person or people who abducted and killed the cousins are likely to be familiar with the Cedar Valley."
However, no arrests have been made in connection to the murders of the two girls.
The search continues on, and there is currently a $100,000 reward fund for information regarding the murder of two Evansdale cousins, per KWWL.