Tuesday 10AM Update: Missing Children Spokesman Remains Hopeful in Hunt for Lyric & Elizabeth

KCRG/Gazette/Courier Staff Reports

EVANSDALE, Iowa - A volunteer with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said Tuesday the agency boasts a 98 percent to 99 percent recovery rate for missing children --- alive or dead.

Pat Farrell, who's been with the national nonprofit agency since 1998, has been helping local law enforcement find two girls that went missing in Evansdale last Friday. He's not giving up hope Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10 of Waterloo and her 8-year-old cousin Elizabeth Collins will found alive.

The girls were last seen riding bikes near downtown Evansale by their grandmother at 12:15 p.m. Friday. There bikes were recovered on the southeast corner of Meyers Lake about four hours later. Extensive searches for the girls since have turned up nothing, officials said.

"For any missing person, the longer it (the search) goes, the more gloomy it gets," said Farrell, the retired chief of police in Rochester, Minn. "The chances of recovery diminishes, but doesn't disappear."

The center is based in Alexandria, Va.

Star 1 Search and Rescue, a nonprofit based in Story County, is also aiding in the seach. Jim Peters, a volunteer representing the group in Evansdale, said the group typically has a "better than 50 percent" rate of finding missing people alive or otherwise.

Speculating about the chances for recovery here is unwise, he said, but he's optimistic. A missing 8-year-old in Virginia was recently found by searchers after five nights.

A successful "recovery does happen. ... Conditions are hot but not cold enough at night to injure someone," Peters said.

Officials said the search continues today for Elizabeth and Lyric. Meyers Lake is being drained and about 30 law enforcement officers are searching wooded areas and abandoned buildings outside of Evansdale.
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