Sunday 10PM Update: Second Full Day of Searching for Missing Girls Finds Only Frustration

KCRG/Gazette/Courier Staff Reports

Marcus Norman, of the Evansdale Fire Department, right, points out sector gives instructions to a search group before sending them out to an agricultural field East of Raymond to continue the search for Lyric Cook, 10, of Waterloo, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, of Evansdale, on Sunday, July 15, 2012 in Evansdale, Iowa. (DAWN J. SAGERT / Courier Staff Photographer)

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By Aaron Hepker

EVANSDALE, Iowa - Another day of searching produced no new leads to explain the disappearance of two Black Hawk County girls.

Authorities said Elizabeth Collins, 8, and her cousin Lyric Cook, 10, were apparently riding bikes near Meyers Lake in Evansdale on Friday afternoon. No one has seen them since and another full day of searching Sunday with more than 900 volunteers added no new information.

Searchers found the bicycles and a purse with a cell phone belonging to one of the girls on Friday. Crews in boats finished dragging the 5-acre lake and now believe the girls are not anywhere in the water. Although the search began around the lake area near I-380 it has now expanded to an estimated 12 square miles.

On the second day of a call for volunteers, so many people showed up there wasn’t room, or anything to do for some, right away. A number of would-be searchers, like Amy Flood, waited patiently for a call to action and a location to search. “It is a little odd, I don’t know how they do these things,” Flood remarked.

But officers made it clear what they wanted when volunteers arrived at a search site. The word was to call if anyone saw anything out of the ordinary and there was also a warning not to touch any potential evidence.

Donnie Shea, who called himself a family friend, said helping out all weekend was an automatic response. “I’ve known the family a long time and wouldn’t have done anything but this all weekend,” Shea said.

Tammy Brousseau, an aunt to both missing girls, said some in the family now wonder if an abduction is the likeliest explanation. “In the area where the bikes were found there is a very brushy area where somebody could have pulled up–maybe had been watching them for a little bit of time,” Brousseau said.

But investigators heading up the search said there was no evidence of an abduction and actually no evidence of anything at all turned up by hundreds of volunteers in hours of searching all weekend For now, the disappearance remains a mystery with no hint of any suspicious activity.

Rick Abben, chief deputy for the Black Hawk Sheriff’s Office, said conversations with both family and friends have turned up no family issues at all. “There’s nothing to indicate problems with custodial issues. We’ve talked with the parents and they’ve been cooperative with us,” Abben said.

As of Sunday evening, authorities had not decided about another call for volunteers to search Monday. Authorities do plan a press briefing late Monday morning with any overnight developments.

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