Cedar Rapids Weather
Wednesday 10PM Update: Surveillance Video May Be Last Known Sighting of Missing Girls
KCRG/Gazette/Courier Staff Reports
EVANSDALE, Iowa - A surveillance video showing two bicyclists may be the last glimpse of missing cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8.
The blurry clip, which lasts only a few seconds, shows the figures riding by on Brovan Street away from Meyers Lake.
“It looked kind of grainy to me, I mean just zoom they were by the thing and so it’s very hard to really make much out on the thing,” Black Hawk County Chief Deputy Rick Abben said.
They were less than a block from the Collins’ house, where grandmother Wylma Cook was reportedly watching the girls while one of their mothers had an appointment.
“They were the only two people to go by on bikes that day to my knowledge,” said Joe Pahl, who alerted police about the video July 16. “I’ve watched it.”
Pahl is the manager of Cornbelt Auctions, 3520 Lafayette Road, where a 24-hour camera captured the footage from its position behind the building. The time and date stamp — 12:11 p.m. July 13 — fits the police timeline of the case.
However, Pahl said the camera’s clock is eight minutes slower than his U.S. Cellular phone.
About 4 p.m. the youngsters’ bikes and Collins’ purse were found on the south side of Meyers Lake. Ted Gamerdinger of Waterloo, a bicyclist who said he often rides the Evansdale Nature Trail, has previously told The Courier he saw the two kids’ bikes on the trail at about 12:20 p.m., but no sign of the children.
“It’s pretty hard for girls to get a mile and a half away ... in eight minutes,” Pahl said. “I don’t even think I could ride a bike a mile in eight minutes.”
Pahl said FBI officials arrived within 20 minutes of learning about the video and “sat up here all Monday until about noon on Tuesday watching everything we had.”
“I think they marked every single car that went by,” he said. “I know they downloaded a ton of stuff off of this.”
Pahl said he has met Collins’ dad, Drew. The family “seems completely great, a typical suburban family.”
He hopes the release of the video spreads the word about the girls’ disappearance and strengthens the community support.
“It won’t lead to any kind of a conviction or anything like that,” Pahl said. “Will it help? Maybe. If it keeps people from forgetting to look for these girls, then great.”
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