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U.S. Rep. Braley wants FBI to offer more help in Evansdale search

James Q. Lynch, CR Gazette –

UPDATE: U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley plans to make a direct request to the FBI director to provide “all assistance available” to the search for two missing Evansdale girls.

Braley, who mentioned his sons played in an Evansdale baseball program when they were younger, is making the appeal at the request of one of the families of the missing girls — Lyric Cook, 10, and her cousin Elizabeth Collins, 8 — who went missing Friday. He did not say which family made the request.

The FBI has been involved in the search, providing scent dogs and working to get photos of the missing girls onto more billboards and websites. However, Braley said that by speaking directly to Director William Mueller he hopes to make sure the “FBI is fully engaged and taking this seriously.”

The FBI has significant and unique resources, he said, such as the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime and rapid response teams that apply the most current expertise available in missing child cases.

“If there is a reason to believe an abduction has occurred, which there certainly is in this case, they have a child abduction rapid deployment team” that can provide divers and other search-and-rescue assistance, Braley said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

Investigators have drained Meyers Lake, where the girls’ bikes were found, to rule out the possibility they are at the bottom.

Local and state law enforcement agencies are working “incredibly hard” to find the girls, who have been missing six days, he said. “This is a situation where we need to get all the help we can.”

His goal, Braley said, is “to make sure the FBI is using every resource available and knows of my interest.”

“Sometimes, sadly, that is a necessary component of making sure that there is an awareness at the highest level of a federal agency of the importance of that assistance,” Braley said.

An FBI spokeswoman said Wednesday an FBI dive team from Los Angeles may join other law enforcement officers investigating the disappearance.

FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault said that if the divers are deployed, they would search the deeper holes of water in the lake, which may be as deep as 20 feet, she said.

Investigators ask that anyone with any ideas on what could have happened to the girls to call police at (319) 232-6682.

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