Cedar Rapids Weather
Mother of Girl Kidnapped from Evansdale Makes Initial Court Appearance
By Lee Hermiston & Dave Franzman, Reporters
WEST UNION, Iowa - Bond has been set at $130,000 for Misty Morrissey, the mother of one of the two girls kidnapped from Evansdale.
Morrissey was arrested Monday and faces several drug charges. During the initial appearance, Morrissey asked the magistrate to lower her bond so she could take care of some affairs. The amount was not changed.
Morrissey also told the court that her co-defendant, Todd Henriksen, was not involved in the drug allegations saying he was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Morrissey, 36, faces two counts of delivery of crystal meth, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, ongoing criminal conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On Monday evening, family members told KCRG.com that they were "confused about the arrest". Morrissey's sister, Tammy Brousseau, declined comment at length about the arrest. "It's sad what took place," Brousseau said. "But, there's no connection (to the kidnapping)."
Arrested with Morrissey was 25-year-old Todd M. Henriksen. Henriksen faces charges of delivery of meth, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. Henriksen's bond was set at $55,000.
A hearing has been scheduled for December 6.
Morrissey's arrest comes at the conclusion of a week long investigation conducted by the sheriff's office and West Union Police Department, part of a larger, month's long investigation into an illegal drug distribution operation. Authorities said they served a warrant at Morrissey's home at 100 E Franklin St. in West Union on Wednesday.
Fayette County Sheriff Marty Fisher wouldn't say what led authorities to the residence, except to say officers were "conducting an investigation and it took us there."
Officers found $700, 30 grams of marijuana, packaging materials, paraphernalia and a digital scale in the residence. Fisher said meth was found in the residence, but he didn't know how much.
If convicted on all of the charges, Morrissey could be sentenced to 50 years in prison. Henriksen faces up to 15 years in prison, police said.
Morrissey, the mother of Lyric Cook-Morrissey, was previously convicted on meth-related charges in 2003. She had been under supervised federal release, but that supervision was terminated in January 2013.
When asked if the stress of her daughter's disappearance could have led to her sister's alleged recent drug dealing, Brousseau said pressure would have gotten to anyone.
Lyric and her cousin, Elizabeth Collins, disappeared while riding their bikes in Evansdale July 13, 2012. Their bodies were discovered in rural Bremer County several months later. The Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office, FBI and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation have all been involved with the kidnapping case. On Tuesday, Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson said he was aware of Morrissey's arrest, but he didn't "see this being something that weighs heavily on his case."
Thompson said one Black Hawk County investigator and a DCI agent were exploring leads in the kidnapping case as recently as Monday.
Lyric's father, Dan Morrissey, is in prison on several meth and marijuana-related felonies.
Police said more charges and more arrests are possible in the West Union investigation.