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Missing Iowa cousins: One set of parents hires an attorney

Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times –

Family members of two missing Iowa girls took different stances with authorities Thursday, nearly a week after the cousins vanished.

Daniel and Misty Morrissey, parents of 10-year-old Lyric Cook, have hired an attorney who has advised them to stop talking to police, Misty’s sister, Tammy Brousseau, told local media.

But Misty’s other sister, Heather Collins, and her husband, Drew, plan to continue cooperating with authorities who are searching for their 8-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, and her cousin, a friend of the family told the Los Angeles Times.

“Heather and Drew have been called in so many times by the FBI and gone willingly because one little answer could lead to something,” said Renee Wrabek, who has known the couple for six years. “They want to do whatever it takes to get those children found.”

Elizabeth and Lyric disappeared July 13 after leaving Elizabeth’s Evansdale home about noon on their bicycles. The bikes were found about a mile away at Meyers Lake.

Since then, parents of both girls have been questioned numerous times by authorities, turned over their cellphones for inspection and taken polygraph tests.

Things changed after the Morrisseys felt they were being accused of a crime and news surfaced of their criminal records — including possession of methamphetamine and marijuana and petty theft.

“At this point because they’re being harassed so badly, they’ve been advised by an attorney to stop doing any polygraph tests, to not talk to the media anymore. … They’ve been advised to not talk to the police,” Brousseau told a group of news outlets, including the Des Moines Register. “They have accused [Daniel Morrissey]. They said they have evidence. We all know if that was the truth they’d already have Dan locked up.”

Although the Collinses do not believe Daniel Morrissey was involved in the girls’ disappearance, they want to distinguish themselves from their family members, said Wrabek, who noted that Lyric and her 16-year-old brother, Dillin, lived with the Collinses for several years while Misty Morrissey was incarcerated.

“The lawyer for the family does not represent Heather and Drew,” Wrabek said. “You have to check every single lead and every single avenue no matter what, and that’s why Heather and Drew have cooperated 100%. They’re obviously not happy about Misty and Dan because if they’re not cooperating then the focus is turned away from finding the girls.”

An FBI dive team is scheduled to start searching the lake Friday morning.

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