Search Intensifies For Missing Iowa Girls Lyric Cook 11, And Elizabeth Collins 8, After 30 Hours (Update and Blink Observations)

Posted by Christina Stoy | Elizabeth Collins,Evansdale Police Department,Lyric Cook,Lyric Morrisey | Sunday 15 July 2012 12:57 pm

The search for two Iowa cousins, Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins intesifies following the 30 hour mark.   The girls were last seen together in downtown Evansdale riding their bikes at around noon Friday.

The girls bikes were found near a bike trail next to Myer’s Lake  and Lyric’s mother Mistyl Cook Morrisey believes the tweens were abducted.   By Sunday morning,  investigators believe at least 40% of the lake had been searched with no sign of the girls.  A bag and cell phone belonging to Lyric was found nearby.

Rick Abben, chief deputy sheriff for Black Hawk County, said the girls were last seen by their grandmother when the two left her Evansdale home at about 12:15 p.m. Friday to ride their bicycles.

The girls’ grandmother notified police two hours later when they hadn’t returned. A firefighter located their bikes on a trail close to nearby Meyers Lake at about 4 p.m. Friday.

Aerial search equipment formatted with thermal infared technology has not produced any possible leads on the ground.

Please check back to www.blinkoncrime.com for this developing story

Update From Blink:  Having had an opportunity to review the map of the last known location, their are two areas of great immediate concern I am focused on.

1. The area where they were last seen on their bikes is next to a safety shoe ( think workboot) store, and adjacent to the rear or parking area of a bar at lunchtime on a Friday and likely a payday.  Lefty’s Lounge is also a truck stop.  This location is just a few blocks from the Grandmother’s residence and some areas of it can be seen from the home if one was standing outside.   The residence also appears to be the office of Planetary Tree Services, unclear if employees report directly for the day’s jobs but the map reflects what could be utility trucks used for tree cutting.   It is not uncommon for some day laborors

2. The girls bikes and bag/cell phone are located together, in an area approximately 2 miles from the area where they were last seen.   Their are no bike trails on the roadway and only heavy traffic “highway” leading straight to the lake,  alternative routes through the neighborhood are possible,  but then they likely would have been seen.

The girls apparently rode bike s close to home frequently with no report of wandering off and the mother’s first reaction upon hearing the bike’s locations were that the girls were abducted.   That tells me that she is reasonably certain that the children would not chosen the lake as a bike riding destination as it is a natural tendency for a parent to want to NOT believe a child has been abducted as a first “option”.  She also has knowledge about what time the grandmother began calling the girls with no answer,  and the call to police came at 2.    Were they sent for anything from a store?

I would recommend that the neighborhood closest to the home be canvassed and each shop at the strip mall be visited for customers and employee timecards be reviewed with specific emphasis on any surveillance footage, traffic cams and of course, Lefty’s Lounge logs, immediately.  Close attention should be paid to anyone leaving any of the merchants between 12:15 PM and 1:15PM abruptly,  anyone leaving a shift early, or anyone taking their break out of turn, etc.

This is an incredibly tight window of time for an abduction of two , if it is one,   the bikes are found near an unfenced section directly on the other side of Route 20 with no evidence of foul play.  The trail itself is paved and very visible from the road.

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18 Comments

  1. January says:

    Godspeed. Prayers for the families.

  2. A Texas Grandfather says:

    Our country has become so dangerous that parents in small communities cannot allow children out of their sight.

    My prayers to the families.

  3. Mom3.0 says:

    Not again please-

    Thanks for covering this Blink & Co
    I agree with your concerns Blink- How did they travel to the lake area 2 miles away without being seen-

    I am very afraid for these girls and I want to commend their Grandma for quickly calling the police when the girls didnt return- I hope her early warning pays off and these girls are found and brought home to the loving arms of their grandmother.

    Next I have to say when I was reading your piece I couldnt help but think of Chris Mike and Stevie- 3 little boys who were just off for an adventure on bikes , and the short window of time the abduction event likely took place in addition to the close proximity of a truck stop.

    I pray this has a better outcome.

    Thanks again Blink-

    Praying hard
    Mom3.0

  4. Jane says:

    Isn’t it unusual to have two children this age possibly abducted together? Could it be someone they both knew? I was thinking more of a couple troubled teens from around town. I hate to think anything evil has happened to these two cuties. Prayers for their families and safe return.

    It is unusual, but it depends on the motivation. I would like to exclude anything having to do with Dad as I do agree it is more likely that it was someone they both knew, but compliance of victims cannot be ruled out- remember the Lisk sisters?
    B

  5. [...] IV: Crime blogger Blink from Blink on Crime provides analysis of the the missing persons case and comments on the area where the girls were [...]

  6. [...] since Friday July 13th from right outside the Lederal Safety Shoe shop since about 12:15 PM,  Lyric Morrissey, 11, and [...]

  7. Word Girl says:

    Ground search this morning began at 8am.
    Here is info from the Missing poster:

    http://www.facebook.com/missingcases

    Spread the word. I think this was a trucker and the girls may have laid their bikes down to speak to him.

    Only one possible exception to that with further investigation this afternoon I just posted.

    I do not know if it is relevant, yet.
    B

  8. Word Girl says:

    Blink was updated as I typed. No wonder the links to the maps didn’t work! ((Not trying to peak behind the screen, honest.))

    lol, sure you weren’t. I would be disappointed in you if you did not :)
    B

  9. Word Girl says:

    hahaha Blink

    I’m very interested in your comment that the mother reacted with the thought the girls were abducted.

    “..the mother’s first reaction upon hearing the bike’s locations were that the girls were abducted. That tells me that she is reasonably certain that the children would not chosen the lake as a bike riding destination as it is a natural tendency for a parent to want to NOT believe a child has been abducted as a first “option”.”

    Wow. That puts Sergio Celis’ 911 call in a whole new perspective!

    If it was my child, I would think she’d gone ‘shopping’ or went into one of the establishments, decided to walk across the busy road and was dinking around in a field somewhere.

    Afterall, I did the same at age 4. A man took us home to a squadron of police vehicles.

    How would this mother suspect abduction? Her first thought must have been the immature sociopath father, right? He doesn’t look smart enough to pull off a crime, but he may have been ‘lucky’.

    I’ll be praying that the girls are found, unharmed.

    He certainly has a habit of getting caught, but who knows if his past has him catching others anonymously- criminal element in a parent of an allegedly abducted child has got to be excluded.

    Need more info on the timing of the bike ride, and of course the cell phone pings.
    B

  10. Word Girl says:

    Police stopped their search due to darkeness, but volunteers continued until 3 am.

    The photo at this link of volunteer walking down an incline to the lake gave me shivers. I fear for these children.

    http://thegazette.com/2012/07/15/hundreds-search-for-missing-iowa-cousins-8-and-10/

  11. Jane says:

    If the mother were immediately thinking “abduction”, do you know if the father had threatened to harm himself or anyone else or was possibly just nutty enough to cause harm to someone. ATG…I’m with you. Sadly, parents really need to keep a short leash on their young children. I walk or run a few times a week. I now live directly on the beach. Am absolutely amazed how many parents/adults just allow their very young ones free reign while they sun, text, talk or are on phone. Scary.

    Well I know he has definitely threatened the mom previously, keep in mind, an investigator will subpoena all the accompanying dockets and files, med records, etc. So it would be improper for me to make any leaps outside of information I have access to.

    Not to point fingers or rub salt in a wound, but no, these girls were entirely too young to be bikeriding in that area without an adult.

    You cannot have that level of security with them so young, when you have that kind of surrounding.

    Dad’s background and affiliations must be excluded, imo.

    B

  12. Lyndsay says:

    Is it possible that they decided to stop and go for a swim in the lake and something happened from there? Could either of the girls swim? I agree with ATG, it seems extremely rare and extra difficult to abduct two children at once.

    How often did Lyric see her father?

    I do not believe they permit swimming in the lake, but I read somewhere that Lyric was a strong swimmer and the family would visit a different lake to swim.

    He is on her and her brother’s FB pages, but according to prison records he has been in and out of jail and or on probation since 2006. He did get a few suspended sentences.

    B

  13. Melissa says:

    My dad was riding the trails coming from gilbertville. He came across the bikes on the path and had to serve to miss them. He did not see or hear the girls at all. He only saw two other people near the lake fishing on the other side. He went straight to th restrooms and called me at 12:27 pm. So he came across those bikes pretty close to the time they were down town evansdale. He then went out the entrance to the lake and left another way. Road 16 miles on the trails and did. Not see them at all.

    Welcome Melissa- Do you know then how police were alerted to the bikes by 3:30?
    B

  14. PamVA says:

    Today Show just reported that the cell phone was used for games only and not equipped to make calls. S

  15. Word Girl says:

    Thx Pam Va. We need all the info we can get on this case. I’m afraid it’s too late, but we need to catch the offender.

    Someone mentioned no description of clothing. I posted the missing poster the other day and it describes …

    Elizabeth, age 8, was 4’1″ 80 lb (dob 7/31/03) wearing a white shirt, shorts, and black tennis shoes (might be high tops). Lyric is 10yo, 4’11″ 145 lb. (dob 10/2/2011) wearing a light green shirt, shorts and black flip flops that form a Sesame Street character when put together.

  16. hannah says:

    I believe the family has absolutely no involvement with the disappearance of the girls…

    I certainly hope that is the case. Regardless, every one of them must be excluded as protocol dictates in all child abduction cases. And right now, the odds this is an abduction have risen significantly.

    B

  17. Melissa Tabor says:

    My dad did not inform the police that day because he says .. there are kids down there all the time fishing. it is not unusual for bikes to be in that spot. He did think it was odd he didn’t hear or see them. He did however report this the next morning .. and the police didn’t get his info for further questions. However on Monday he mentioned to a cop on the trail that he saw the bikes and he knew what time because he made a phone call… then he had the cops practically escorting him to the station. He was later questioned by the fbi and they used my phone for creditability of his statement. He literally had to swerve to miss the bikes on the trail, but road his bike 16 miles on the trail and throughout evansdale and did not see the girls at all. That’s pretty close to the time they were last seen downtown.

  18. Layla says:

    Seriously? We are pandering for posters?
    B

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