Monday 8PM Update: Counselors Help Parents, Kids Cope with Evansdale Disappearance

KCRG/Gazette/Courier Staff Reports

Signs with messages of love and encouragement are left at Meyers Lake for two abducted Iowa cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, of Waterloo, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, of Evansdale, on Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Evansdale, Iowa. The girls were last seen 13 at Meyers Lake. (AP Photo/The Waterloo Courier, Dawn J. Sagert)


By Aaron Hepker

EVANSDALE, Iowa - Authorities heading up the search of missing cousins Lyric Cook, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, had little new to add to the investigation on Monday.

But Waterloo School officials did offer counseling opportunities to help both fellow students who knew the missing girls, and parents, cope with the situation.

Lyric Cook attended Kingsley Elementary on the west side of Waterloo. Counselors offered the first session of assistance there early in the day amid the pink ribbons and "missing" posters outside the school. A second evening counseling session was set for Poyner Elementary in Evansdale, the school attended by Elizabeth Collins.

A Waterloo District spokesperson said only a single family came during the first three hours of the counseling at the school in Waterloo. However, another ten families did show up in the final hour.

Melissa Sitzman, a school counselor at Kingsley, explained the slow turnout to start this way. "I think some of the parents are working and we don't have all the answers yet. It could be parents are handling this at home," Sitzmann said.

Sitzmann said school officials were expecting a much larger turnout at the second evening session.

An Evansdale parent, Tammy Marvets said a lot of parents are probably handling the issue at home and she wasn't planning to take her young son Hunter to the school session. "Personally, I don't think it's necessary for Hunter (to go to counseling). I had talks with him. I think it will hit kids harder after they go back to school if Lyric and Elizabeth aren't found by then," Marvets said.

School officials said although the fate of the two girls isn't known, kids still want some answers about what is going on. Counselors will urge parents to tell kids the truth in a way they can understand.

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