Monday 1PM Update: Authorities Looking for Meyers Lake Paddleboater, But Not As Suspect

KCRG/Gazette/Courier Staff Reports

Authorities continue to search Meyers Lake in Evansdale on Friday, July 20, 2012 for 10-year-old Lyrica Cook and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins, who have been missing since July 13. The FBI was bringing a dive team and sonar to search the lake on Friday. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

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By Aaron Hepker

EVANSDALE, Iowa - Authorities investigating the disappearance of two girls from Evansdale on July 13 said Monday that they want to interview a person who was paddleboating on the lake around the time the girls disappeared.

FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault told the Associated Press Monday that the person paddleboating, who has not voluntarily come forward, could help investigators learn what happened to the girls but was not considered a suspect. "They believe that person has information," she said. "They really do need to talk with the person."

Black Hawk County Sheriff's Capt. Rick Abben said last week that investigators were examining "every aspect" of the criminal histories of Cook-Morrissey and her estranged husband, Dan Morrissey, so that they do not overlook any possible leads. He said they were not suspects in the disappearance. But he acknowledged authorities sought a judge's order last week requiring Morrissey to submit to supervision by parole agents while he awaits trial on charges of making and dealing methamphetamine that carry the prospect of decades in prison.

Tammy Brousseau said her sister, Misty Cook-Morrissey, also went through a second polygraph test over the weekend after initially declining to do so. Brousseau said the couple had been advised earlier to stop cooperating with police after consulting with Waterloo attorney Tom Frerichs. He said Monday he was not representing the couple but could not comment on whether he'd had any discussions with them.

Brousseau said Cook-Morrissey agreed to Monday's test on the condition that a family member — she picked Morrissey — be present in the room. The FBI also promised that she would not face any accusatory interrogation, Brousseau added.

Breault and Abben didn't immediately return phone messages seeking comment on the polygraph tests.

The girls were last seen around 12:15 p.m. on July 13, riding their bikes in Evansdale. Their bikes and a purse were later found near Meyers Lake, a popular fishing and recreation area in the northeastern Iowa city of about 4,700 residents. A search involving hundreds of local residents failed to find the girls, and an FBI dive team using sonar equipment concluded last week the girls were not in the lake. Investigators said over the weekend they have reason to believe the girls are alive, and they are treating the case as abduction.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to call 319-232-6682.

Video


The Life & Love of Elizabeth Collins Celebration


Parents of Elizabeth Collins Speak to the Media on 12/13


Authorities Confident Remains Belong to Missing Girls


Authorities Announce Discovery of Two Bodies

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Tip Line

Authorities are asking anyone who has any information on the case to call the tip line, at 319-232-6682 or send an e-mail to ourmissingiowagirls@dps.state.ia.us.

A reward of $150,000 has been established for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.



Timeline

Friday, July 13, 2012
  • 2:48PM Cousins Lyric Cook & Elizabeth Collins are reported missing      
  • 2:50PM Law enforcement begin searching the girls
  • 4PM Firefighters find the girls’ bike at Meyers Lake
  • 4:30PM Search of Meyers Lake begins
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