Cedar Rapids Weather
Psychics Offer Help in Search for Missing Cousins
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Another group has joined law enforcement, volunteers and family in the search for two missing Iowa cousins — those claiming to be psychic.
Eighty psychics have contacted the Black Hawk County Sheriff's department to relay their "visions" on the whereabouts of 10-year-old Lyric Cook and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins, The Des Moines Register reported Saturday.
The girls disappeared July 13 after taking a bike ride in Evansdale while their grandmother, Wylma Cook, was babysitting them. The extensive search — involving local, state and federal investigators — has been fruitless.
Authorities classified the case as abduction after a search by divers using sonar equipment ruled out the possibility their bodies might be in Meyers Lake, close to where their bikes were found.
Investigators have focused attention on Lyric's parents, Daniel and Misty Morrissey, who have a long history of being involved in drugs, but have not called them suspects.
Possibly more surprising than the number of psychics offering their advice on the case is that sheriff's officials are listening to them.
"I don't know if I believe or not," Sheriff Tony Thompson said, "But in the absence of any evidentiary leads, we are in the process of following up on them. ... If it was your kids, you'd do the same thing."
Lea Chapin is among those who claim to have psychic abilities and some insight into the case of the missing girls. She drove from Illinois and joined another psychic to meditate at the lakeside where the girls' bikes were found.
Chapin says her visions on the case include a man with a scar on the left side of his face and the numbers 1, 2 and 3.
Alan Koslow, a Des Moines vascular surgeon and president of the Skeptics of Central Iowa, dismissed those claiming to have psychic insight into the case. At worst, they're attempting to scam those desperate to find the girls, and at best, they provide false hope, Koslow said.
Investigators who use them are "grasping at straws and feeling inadequate that they can't find an answer," he said.
Thompson acknowledged that all of the 80 psychics have offered different advice for finding the girls.
"I don't think any of them were lottery winners," Thompson said.
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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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 email@example.com.
A reward of $150,000 has been established for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
TimelineFriday, July 13, 2012
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Updates in the Case
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