WATERLOO, Iowa - Investigators were expected to wrap up a "re-canvassing" of neighborhoods this afternoon in an attempt to garner new information that may help find two girls that went missing from Evansdale.
Cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 11, and Elizabeth Collins, 9, disappeared July 13 while on a bike ride. Their bikes and Elizabeth's purse and cell phone were found on a recreational trail along Meyers Lake. After an extensive search of homes and wooded areas and a partial draining of the lake over the following week that turned up nothing, authorities declared the case an abduction.
Now past the three-month mark of the investigation, Evansdale Police Chief Kent Smock said it was time to re-interview residents, jar memories and possibly talk to people previously missed. Local enforcement officers, FBI agents and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation personnel made contact with as many residents as possible since Tuesday morning near the lake and other places the girls may have been prior being taken.
"Nothing was found the really stood out or was promising," Smock said. "If we knew where they were at, we'd go knocking on that door. We're still very hopeful; still very positive."
Authorities visited between 125 to 150 homes. A rumor in town that air surveillance was ongoing is false, Smock said.
Lyric and Elizabeth were last seen by Wylma Cook, the girls' grandmother, near downtown not far from Elizabeth's home on Brovan Boulevard.
Despite following up on thousands of leads and contact, authorities haven't been able to locate the girls. The decision was made two weeks ago to canvass the area again. Nothing in particular triggered the latest ground search, he said.
"We continue to dig for more information," Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson said. "We continue to search for details that might have been overlooked."
Smock said people get the impression authorities are focusing on one thing, but that's not the case. But he said the sole purpose is to get the girls home where they belong.
"It's still a very active investigation. It's the highest priority," Smock said.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact the Evansdale Police Department at (319) 232-6682, Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at (855) 300-8477 or the FBI at (402) 493-8688.