Tuesday 6AM Update: Prayers Continue for Missing Cousins

KCRG/Gazette/Courier Staff Reports

Drew Collins and Heather Collins parents of missing daughter Elizabeth Collins and her cousin Lyric Cook-Morrissey, are prayed for during a prayer vigil held for the two cousins at Heartland Vineyard Church Monday, July 23, 2012, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The girls went missing Friday afternoon July 13. (MATTHEW PUTNEY / Courier Photo Editor)

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By Lauren Peikoff

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - They knelt, they lifted their hands, they laid prostrate on the floor.

And amidst petitions for awakening, repentance, restoration and peace, there was a simple plea to God: Bring Lyric and Elizabeth home.

More than 180 people attended a Monday evening prayer vigil for missing cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, of Waterloo, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, of Evansdale, at Heartland Vineyard Church, where their families attend.

The pair disappeared July 13, their bikes and a purse found on the south side of Meyers Lake in Evansdale. Law enforcement officials recently classified the disappearances as an abduction after searching and partially draining the lake. Authorities have expressed confidence that the girls are still alive.

“Tonight is the night where we focus on the Lord,” the Rev. Reggie Hovenga told attendees. “We’re not going to yell at the devil. We know who is behind this.”

Later in the service he read from Psalm 23, noting that many in the crowd have “walked in the valley of the shadow of death.” God brought each of them through their crisis to a “place that is green and the water flows,” Hovenga said. “I know he’s going to do it with my friends” the Cook-Morrissey and Collins families.

A band led meditative worship songs that filled the auditorium for about 40 minutes before people were invited to pray for the girls and their families at a microphone.

Corey Peters, 38, of Cedar Falls was one of eight people who prayed in front of the crowd. Before praying, he read a passage from the book of Job in the Bible — God’s response to Job’s anger after losing most of his family and possessions to calamities orchestrated by Satan.

“You do get mad at God, it’s OK to do that,” Peters said after the service, adding that people’s prayers could help unite the girls with their families. “I believe that God can do anything. I believe that prayer matters, he’s bigger than this circumstance.”

Sydney Galles, 14, of Cedar Falls, agreed. “I just heard about (the vigil) on the news and know that every prayer counts.”

Chris Putz of Waterloo, who was at the vigil with his wife and son, said they were praying for the girls’ safe return “hopefully any minute.” He added, “I just want to be there (at the vigil) for support. They’re part of our church family and that’s what we’re here for.”

A number of the girls’ family members were at the vigil, including their grandmother, Wylma Cook.

“I want to thank everyone for praying for us,” she told the crowd during the service. “Just keep praying for us. We want our children home, because that’s the only way we’ll be happy.”

Drew and Heather Collins, Elizabeth’s parents, were also there.

“It was a great service and my friends are very supportive,” Drew Collins said after the service. “I just want people to keep praying for their safe return.”

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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