The Search for Elizabeth & Lyric: Four Weeks Later

By Addison Speck, Reporter

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By Aaron Hepker

EVANSDALE, Iowa - It has been four weeks since two Black Hawk County cousins disappeared. 10-year-old Lyric Cook and 9-year-old Elizabeth Collins were seen riding their bikes toward Meyers Lake in Evansdale on Friday, July 13th. No one has seen the girls since. Their bicycles, a purse and a non-working cell phone were left near the lake.

For the following days, hundreds of people searched the around Meyers Lake. Investigators searched homes, cars and even drained the lake to make sure the girls were not in the water. Officials then determined the girls had been abducted.

On Friday, police said they are still waiting on test results from the evidence they had collected. They also noted they continue to receive tips but ask that anyone with information still contact them immediately.

As four weeks has already passed since the girls disappeared, some people in the community still says it feels like yesterday. "Each day you wake up and think, maybe today is the day they're going to come home and every day that goes by it's like come on something has got to give here," said Sarah Staebell, of Evansdale. Staebell is the co-owner of a gift shop in town and has Cook and Collins pictures posted on the checkout desk, and outside her building. "We don't want it to get stale, we don't want everyone to go about their lives and forget about these girls," she said.

Over the last four weeks, pink ribbons have been tied across the community. They are on mailboxes, trees and businesses. Their names and pictures are posted on signs, windows and at Meyers Lake. "Everyone is on board, everyone is stepping up from Evansdale to the surrounding communities its just heart-warming to know everyone wants to pink-a-fy their community," said Staebell.

What many felt the day they disappeared has only grown stronger. "It's been pretty quiet, really somber feeling, you just kind of feel it everywhere you go, especially at the parks," said Debra Mia, of Waterloo. "Everyone just has a feeling in their pit of their stomach and nobody can get settled because were constantly thinking of the girls."

Despite many unanswered questions, people in Evansdale are just as optimistic as they were when the search began, vowing that the posters and bows will stay up until the girls are found. "There's still a lot of hope the girls are alive," said Mia.

Authorities are offering a $50,000 reward in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the tipline at 319-232-6682.

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