One Year Later: Lighting Christmas Trees For Lyric & Elizabeth

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By Chris Earl

EVANSDALE, Iowa - For weeks, the Evansdale Police Department was a gathering point for the mass of reporters amid Eastern Iowa's most prominent news story of 2012.

That story reached a heartbreaking conclusion on December 5, 2012, when hunters found the bodies of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins about twenty miles to the west, in Bremer County.

Yet, months before, the two girls, 10 and 8 at the time, were last seen in Evansdale on July 13, 2012. When they were reported missing, their bicycles were found on the southern edge of Meyers Lake, close to Interstate 380.

On Thursday to mark one year since their bodies were found, about 30 family members and friends gathered at the police station to light two Christmas trees.

One for Lyric, who would be 12 if she were still alive and one for Elizabeth, who would be 10.

A presentation for nearly $10,000 was also offered to split between the Cedar Valley Crimestoppers and to continue the project at Angels Park at Meyers Lake to remember the girls. Much of that money was raised following a motorcycle ride in Evansdale in July to mark one year since their disappearance.

Now at one year since the tragic discovery on December 5, investigators have not announced any arrests in the girls' deaths and say the case remains open.

Heather Collins, Elizabeth's mother, said, even 17 months later, she still receives text messages from people to let her know that Elizabeth is not forgotten. She is also hopeful that a focus on this can lead to the truth, and justice, eventually coming out.

This tribute to the girls came as Misty Morrissey, the mother of Lyric Cook, was arrested last week in Fayette County on felony drug charges after an extended investigation into an illegal drug distribution operation.

Cook's father, Dan Morrissey, is in prison on drug charges.
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