Cedar Rapids Weather
Hundreds of Motorcycles Ride to Remember Evansdale Cousins
By Forrest Saunders, Reporter
EVANSDALE, Iowa - Saturday, more than 260 motorcycles thundered across Eastern Iowa roads in memory of 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 10-year-old Lyric Cook, who disappeared one year ago Saturday.
The girls vanished somewhere in Evansdale. Surveillance video last captured them riding bicycles in town. The bikes were found later at Meyers Lake, near I-380 after the girls had been reported missing. Their bodies were discovered in early December in a remote part of Bremer County. No one has been arrested in their deaths.
"This is the day they went missing and it's bringing everybody together so they have that chance to meet new people, and bring awareness out," Chris Webb, ride organizer, said.
Webb is talking about awareness of child abductions. It's what bound the bikers together. Some came in from as far away as Arizona.
"It's just a nice showing to have everybody come out and support this," Buzz Anderson from Waterloo said.
Alicia Kozakiewicz witnessed the horror of a kidnapping firsthand. An internet predator tracked her down when she was just 13.
"I was held captive in his basement dungeon, and miraculously rescued by the FBI, because he broadcast himself abusing me to other people online," Kozakiewicz said .
She's turned that pain into strength and was on the ride to share her story, and keep other children from suffering a similar fate.
"It's amazing to see a community stand up to help protect children," she said.
For the parents of Elizabeth, Heather and Drew Collins, the heartbreak of losing a child never goes away. Yet having all of the people, all of the support, made the day easier to face.
"I wouldn't have it any other way," Heather Collins said. "We've had just so much support. It's just amazing. And that is really what has gotten us by this past year."
The money raised at Saturday's ride went toward the creation of Angels Park for the girls and as financial incentive for the Cedar Valley Crimestoppers.
Anyone with information on the disappearance of Lyric Cook or Elizabeth Collins is asked to call 855-300-TIPS or 319-232-6682.