Child Identification Fair Held in Memory of Black Hawk County Cousins.

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter


By Katie Wiedemann

DUBUQUE, Iowa - A missing child is something no parent ever wants to worry about. The disappearance of two cousins from Black Hawk County has some of their Dubuque relatives working to speed up the process of alerting the public when a child goes missing.

"Even though the outcome probably would have been the same, at least there would be easier awareness, easier publicity, so to say 'these are the children,'" Chris Stechman, a relative of the cousins, said.

The family teamed up with the Dubuque and South Dakota chapters of the Masons to organize a free child identification fair on Saturday.

Jwan Brookins, of Dubuque, said he watched the search for Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins closely as he has children around their age.

"I tell my kids if I can't see them, then they have gone too far," Brookins said.

Volunteers at Saturday's child identification event recorded digital finger prints, and video of children, like Brookins', talking. It's all burned on to a disk for parents to keep on file.

"The disk is set up to go on an Amber Alert if you go to the police station because something is going on," Jack Welcker with the Dubuque Masonic Temple said.

Parents will store the disk along with DNA samples and a photo ID card. Then parents can leave with sense of empowerment.

"If something like that were to happen, at least I know the first step is already taken care of," Brookins said.

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