New Reward Fund Organized for Missing Black Hawk County Cousins

By Dave Franzman, Reporter

A poster with photos of Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, who disappeared in Evansdale last Friday, adorn a utility pole across from the entrance to Meyers Lake in Evansdale, Iowa, Monday, July 16, 2012. Their bikes were found Friday afternoon near a bike trail at the edge of Meyers Lake in Evansdale. (AP Photo/Waterloo Courier, Brandon Pollock)


By Aaron Hepker

EVANSDALE, Iowa - A collection drive to boost the reward fund for two missing Black Hawk County cousins got an official kick off from family members and law enforcement Monday afternoon.

The search for Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook started on the afternoon of July 13th when the two disappeared while riding bicycles in Evansdale. They were last seen in the area around Meyers Lake.

The reward fund, in the more than four months since the disappearance, has grown to $50,000.

But on Monday, both the family and law enforcement outlined details of a new reward that will be paid out for any information leading to the missing girls without the need to wait for an arrest and conviction.

The Elizabeth & Lyric Fund will be part of the Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers program. Beginning Monday and running through December 21st, the community can contribute to a special reward fund to try and bring out new tips in the case.

Drew and Heather Collins, parents of Elizabeth, appeared at an afternoon news conference announcing the fund raising.

Both said the idea of a separate fund came from a case in Des Moines. They also believe someone out there has information that could lead to locating the girls. And a new, larger reward is perhaps all it would take to bring out that one key tip.

The $50,000 already in the reward fund would go to anyone based on a tip leading to arrest and conviction. That's the usual reward rules. The separate fund would be paid out to the first person providing information that leads to locating the two girls. It's possible someone providing the right information could eventually receive all the reward money.

Authorities said the money will be set aside in a separate account for up to five years strictly to pay out for information leading to the two girls. Donors can mail contributions to Crime Stoppers c/o Elizabeth and Lyric Fund, P.O. Box 1510, Waterloo, Iowa 50704. Donors can also bring contributions to the Evansdale, Waterloo and Cedar Falls Police Departments as well as the Black Hawk Sheriff's Office. There will be no door-to-door solicitations of money for the reward fund.

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