(left) Elizabeth Collins & (right) Lyric Cook
EVANSDALE (KWWL) – Authorities plan to expand the search area and continue dragging Meyers Lake in the hunt for two missing girls.
More volunteers are also set to go door-to-door asking anyone if they’ve seen the girls.
Anyone who was on the bike trail Friday afternoon and may have seen something, is strongly encouraged to contact the Evansdale Police Department. That number is 319-232-6682.
Hundreds of volunteers searched areas in and around Evansdale for two cousins missing since Friday afternoon. 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 10-year-old Lyric Cook disappeared while riding their bikes. They were last seen around 12:30 p.m. Friday.
“We can’t express our gratitude for how many people have shown up, people that don’t even know us. Even under the worst circumstances. I just know they will be brought home safe and sound. And I know it will be soon,” said Elizabeth’s mother, Heather Collins.
Lyric’s mother, Misty Morrissey, says she believes the girls may have been taken or left with someone Friday. She says it’s out of character for the girls to wander away or to try and swim in the lake. “They’re very outdoorsy, They play together every day,” Morrissey said.
But investigators are still calling this a missing persons case. “It is still a search and we have no indications of anything other than we have two missing girls. We have nothing that would indicate foul play, nothing to lead us in that direction at all,” said Black Hawk County Sheriff Deputy Richard Abben.
As of Saturday night, no Amber Alert could be issued for the girls because there is no evidence to suggest they were abducted and there are no suspects. The girls have been listed on the national missing persons registry.
Police held two news conferences Saturday but had no new details to release. They plan to hold another news conference at 9 a.m. Sunday.
Emergency crews have been searching since 3 p.m. Friday. Saturday, more than 400 people showed up to help in the ground search. While firefighters and DNR officers searched Meyers Lake, volunteers walked up and down the river, on trails, and through Evansdale neighborhoods.
When they’re not searching, Collins and Cook’s family members are gathering near the boat ramp at Meyers Lake.
Authorities found the girls’ bikes off a trail on the southeast corner of the lake. One of the girl’s purses was found not too far away. Their grandmother was the last one to see them.
“They’ve gotta be okay,” Wilma Cook said. “We’re praying that nothing happened to them. That maybe they’re lost in the weeds or went too far and can’t find their way back.”
Crews continued dragging the lake Saturday. Friday evening, they walked through an island in the lake, and did at least two searches by air – including one using infrared sensors.
“It’s very difficult, but we’re trusting in the Lord and just trying to be patient.” Morrissey said. “Let everybody do their job and we’re just doing a lot of praying.”
Collins is a student at Poyner Elementary. Cook is a student at Kingsley Elementary in Waterloo. Authorities say they continue to follow up on leads and that the case is being worked on a 24-hour basis.
A friend of the family has offered a $5000 reward for information that results in the two girls being located.
The search will continue Sunday morning for two missing girls in Evansdale. Volunteers willing to help look are asked to meet at the Community Response Center in Evansdale at 8 a.m. Property owners in Evansdale and surrounding areas are being asked to search their land.
Volunteers must bring a valid drivers license or another form of identification and must be at least 18 years old. They are asked to dress appropriately for searching in heavily wooded areas.
Volunteers are asking for people to donate food and water. They also say there will be childcare available at the Evansdale AmVets Hall beginning at 8 a.m.
Please help to forward this to everyone you know. Please help to bring these kids home safe and sound and please pray for their safety. Please please please help to bring these young girls home. The link from this is here.