Family Members Reflect on First Anniversary of Evansdale Abduction

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

EVANSDALE, Iowa - Sometimes it's easy to forget a hot summer day.

But not July 13, 2012.

"I remember it pretty much minute by minute," said Heather Collins. "I remember the whole entire day, my whole entire nightmare of a day."

The day the Collin's lost their little girl, Elizabeth.

"How do you forget the worst day of your life?" Drew Collins asked.

Nobody imagined as they watched Lyric Cook, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, ride by on their bicycles that that would be the last time they'd see them alive last July 13. At 2:00 that afternoon family members started searching for the girls. Two hours later Evansdale firefighters found their abandoned bikes near Meyers Lake in Evansdale. On July 14, hundreds of volunteers joined the search for the girls. Two days later, authorities begin draining Meyers Lake, but nothing turned up. By July 20, they had classified the girls' disappearance as an abduction. Then, on Dec. 5, after five excruciating months, hunters uncovered the girls' remains in a wooded area in Bremer County.

One year after that July day, Drew and Heather Collins are still waiting for answers. While it can be daunting to think nearly 365 days have passed. They're trying to stay strong for their other three children.

"Our five year old asked me a couple weeks ago 'when do I get to see Elizabeth?'" Drew Collins said.

"We've told her before that she's in heaven with Jesus and she knows that," Heather Collins said.

When they're not talking about Elizabeth with their kids, they're working on a memorial for everyone to remember her. The two are spending their own time and money to help build Angels Park.

"It's helping to heal, it's a healing process," Heather Collins said.

They're waiting for that one day when investigators will finally have some news. Drew and Heather said they were confident in police working on the case.

"They've got a lot of information. They just need to put it together," Drew Collins said.

In the mean time they're left pondering what they'd say to the person who murdered their daughter and niece

"We all have to meet our maker some day and good luck because you murdered two innocent girls," Drew Collins said.

Tammy Brousseau was Lyric and Elizabeth's aunt. She said the pain hasn't let up at all. In fact, she almost says its worse, often re-living what happened in nightmares and in her thoughts. As we near the one year mark of their disappearance she has a message for parents and guardians.

"Please take extra special lookout for their children because like I said, we have a perpetrator out there that has not been caught," Brousseau said.

Tammy said Lyric and her daughter were best friends. The family still has times when they all cry together about memories of a happier time. She said she's constantly calling Evansdale Police Chief Kent Smock talking to him about rumors and any potential leads.

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