Wednesday 11AM Update: U.S. Representative Seeking FBI Assistance in Missing Girls Case

KCRG/Gazette/Courier Staff Reports

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley plans to make a direct request to the FBI director to provide "all assistance available" to the search for two missing Evansdale girls.

Braley, who mentioned his sons played in an Evansdale baseball program when they were younger, is making the appeal at the request of one of the families of the missing girls -- Lyric Cook, 10, and her cousin Elizabeth Collins, 8, who went missing Friday. He did not say which family.

By speaking directly to Director William Mueller, Braley hopes to make sure the "FBI is fully engaged and taking this seriously."

The FBI has significant and unique resources, he said, such as the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime and rapid response teams that apply the most current expertise available in missing child cases.

"If there is a reason to believe an abduction has occurred, which there certainly is in this case, they have a child abduction rapid deployment team" that can provide divers and other search-and-rescue assistance, Braley said during a conference call with reporters July 18.

Investigators have drained Meyers Lake, where the girls' bikes were found, to rule out the possibility they are at the bottom.

Local and state law enforcement agencies are working "incredibly hard" to find the girls who have been missing six days, he said. "This is a situation where we need to get all the help we can."

His goal, Braley said, is "to make sure the FBI is using every resource available and knows of my interest."

"Sometimes, sadly, that is a necessary component of making sure that there is an awareness at the highest level of a federal agency of the importance of that assistance," Braley said.

Investigators ask that anyone with any ideas on what could have happened to the girls to call police at (319) 232-6682.
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