Friday 12PM Update: FBI Divers Search Lake, Car Searches Underway As Search for Missing Girls Continues

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 are gearing up for another day on Meyers Lake today as the search hit the one-week mark for missing cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8.

A large FBI truck rolled onto the scene of Meyers Lake at around 8 a.m. Friday along with several other law enforcement agencies. A specialized team of FBI divers will search the water with high-tech sonar equipment. They’ll focus their attention on the deeper fifteen to twenty foot holes beneath the water’s surface.

Meanwhile at the city’s combined fire and police station, officers, firefighters, deputies and federal agents began pulling up.

The FBI’s mobile command center was in the driveway as well as a second smaller FBI truck. Two jon boats arrived, one from the Evansdale fire department and a second from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Authorities Thursday stopped draining Meyers Lake in preparation for the dive team. Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Capt, Rick Abben said the divers needed the lake “to settle down” before they could go in the water. Local crews helped prepare the area for the dive team’s equipment by adding rock to the already-drained portion of the lake bed near the dock.

“This is some specialized equipment that is now available. We had sonar here on the weekend and that was showing nothing,” Abben said. “This stuff is being brought in by the FBI, and they are saying that this is some really high-tech stuff and there is only just a few units of this that are available in the whole United States for us to use. So it is coming this way.”

Chief Deputy Rick Abben didn’t know how long the FBI’s search of the lake would last. Abben said the next steps that might be taken at the lake will not be determined until the divers are done today. “If we need to continue draining it further — if that’s what they think needs to be done — then we will do that,” Abben said. “I’m being told that this lake has some really deep pockets in it, somewhere between 15 and 20 feet deep.”

Another round of vehicle stops are being conducted Friday morning. Officers are at various locations, stopping drivers and asking them questions. Authorities are hoping these car searches and lake search will produce some evidence that will point to the whereabouts of the two girls.

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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