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Evansdale Citizens Propose Ways to Commemorate Slain Cousins

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EVANSDALE, Iowa - The 13th of July will forever be remembered as the day two young girls vanished in town. A day that changed the lives of two families and a community.

The Evansdale Chamber of Commerce and many citizens asked the City Council during Tuesday's council meeting to declare every July 13th "Elizabeth and Lyric Day." They also asked for their support on other proposals to keep the memories of Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey alive.

The cousins were 8 and 10, respectively, when they were abducted while riding bikes in Evansdale.

A community-wide manhunt, which turned into a nationwide search, for the girls came up empty. Their bodies were found by hunters on Dec. 5 at Seven Bridges Wildlife Area near Readlyn.

Mayor Chad Deutsch said he will simply make a proclamation each year dedicating the 13th to the girls. It would be up to future mayors to do the same.

"I don't think anyone is against doing something (like that)," Deutsch said.

A special day commemorating the girls' lives, though, was only the beginning. Dona Frickson, president of the Evansdale Chamber of Commerce, and others in the audience suggested several other ways to honor the young cousins.

Ideas included changing the name of Meyers Lake --- a focal point of the initial search and the site of numerous prayer vigils --- to Cousins Lake, renaming the park at the lake after the girls or even naming the trail around the lake The Trail of Angels.

Other amenities suggested included a gazebo and rose garden, which would be a place to reflect on the girls' lives.

As police track down the youngsters' killer(s), council members said they will do whatever they can to make sure Elizabeth and Lyric will always be remembered.

But it will be up the city's Parks and Recreation Board to give the go ahead for name changes or other additions at public parks.

No decisions were made, but city officials are confident things will be done in honor of Elizabeth and Lyric. An extensive fundraising campaign will commence soon for memorials, officials said.

"We're 100 percent behind it," said Steve Seible, parks board member.

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