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Investigation into murder of two Iowa girls continues 10 years later

DES MOINES – It was 10 years ago Wednesday that cousins 10-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins went out for a bike ride in Evansdale, Iowa, and never returned home to their families. Five months later on December 5, 2012, hunters in the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area of rural Bremer County came across two bodies, which were eventually identified as Elizabeth and Lyric — found approximately 25 miles from the Black Hawk County location where they originally went missing.

No one has yet been charged or arrested for these crimes, however the investigation into the girls’ deaths continues one decade later out of dogged determination to understand the truth of what happened to Lyric and Elizabeth. Local, state and federal investigators have worked together to solve this case since that time. As the case progressed into a long-term investigation, the investigative team adapted and readjusted as well, to include investigators with the Bremer County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Part of the investigative team still includes agents who were part of the original investigation when it began in July of 2012.

As part of this team, intelligence analysts with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Regional Office in Omaha, Nebraska, and the Iowa Department of Public Safety Division of Intelligence in Des Moines, Iowa, were also provided to leverage their analytical capabilities for the large amount of data and evidence that this case has generated.

As the investigation continues into this anniversary date, the investigative team wishes to acknowledge the significance of this date to the families of Lyric and Elizabeth, the local Cedar Valley community, and the state of Iowa. The investigative team’s goal continues to be bringing about justice for the families of Lyric and Elizabeth, and their strategy in bringing about this justice involves regularly evaluating the historical information that is already contained in the comprehensive investigative case file, while at the same time evaluating any new information as it comes in.

To date, there have been nearly 2000 leads in this investigation, including 117 tips provided by the involved public in the past 10 months. Every tip that comes into the established ourmissingiowagirls@dps.state.ia.us email address is reviewed by the investigative team, and evaluated on its relevance to the case facts to determine whether or not resources (i.e. investigators performing interviews, information analysis) should be allocated for follow-up.

The investigative team hopes that Iowans will continue to stand with the families of Lyric and Elizabeth, the Cedar Valley community, and the investigative team until the truth is made known. The investigative team asks anyone who wants to report information about the Evansdale murders can direct it to ourmissingiowagirls@dps.state.ia.us

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