Friday 8PM Update: Family & Friends Gather at Lake to Pray for Safe Return of Missing Girls

By Dave Franzman, Reporter

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By Ellen Kurt

EVANSDALE, Iowa - A crowd numbering at least 200 people gathered Friday evening at Meyers Lake in Evansdale to once again pray for the return of two missing cousins

Lyric Cook, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, disappeared on Friday, July 13 while apparently riding on a trail around the lake. Authorities and family members found two bicycles and a purse by the trail. But in the two weeks since that bit of evidence, authorities have not come up with any clues or explanations they've shared publicly.

For both friends and family, the 26-acre lake in Evansdale was ground zero for the search efforts in the early days. Authorities even partially drained the lake before concluding the girls were not in the water. So a return to the lake at the two week mark seemed appropriate.

The ribbons, posters, T-shirts and candles many brought to the evening vigil have appeared at the lake before during the search. Heather Collins, mother of one of the missing girls, said it's the support of family and friends that keeps her going during the darkest days.

"They're going above and beyond. We have an amazing team, an amazing support team and friends," Collins said.

Tammy Brousseau, an aunt to both missing girls, agreed the support and prayers from the community has made a difference.

"It's beautiful to see the love and the outpouring. I am so grateful for the support., but we really need Lyric and Elizabeth back," Brousseau said.

Those appearing at the vigil marking the end of a second week hung new ribbons and wrote new notes to the missing girls.

At a signal, dozens of adults and kids carried flowers to the edge of the lake and tossed them in. They also lit candles-both in hopes of a safe return.

After two weeks with no real results, some fear people in the Evansdale community will eventually return to their normal routines.

But Cathy Lee, a searcher and frequent lake visitor, said that won't happen.

"They're not forgetting them and their hope is still strong. Everybody's hopes and prayers are still going. They're standing together for them," Lee said.

Family members said they know authorities are still putting in long hours with plenty of manpower to keep the search efforts going.

But they still need one of the many leads to produce results.

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