11th annual Ride and Drive keeps awareness on Evansdale cousins cold case
EVANSDALE, Iowa (KCRG) - Hundreds of motorcycles took to the streets of Evansdale for the 11th annual memorial ride in honor of two cousins from Evansdale who went missing in 2012.
Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, were last seen riding their bikes near Meyers Lake in Evansdale back in July 2012. Their bodies were found five months later in rural Bremer County.
As they have for more than a decade now, the community showed up in force Saturday morning to honor Elizabeth and Lyric.
“Evansdale, you know, the community, they’re their girls. They’re not just ours. They’re their girls also, and they want to see justice just as much as we do,” Heather Collins, Elizabeth’s mother, said.
“There’s a lot of people that are praying for justice and praying for our family,” Kelly Davis, Elizabeth’s aunt, said.
The ride benefits the Elizabeth Collins Foundation, which helps the families of missing individuals and educates the community on how to prevent abduction, sexual abuse, and trafficking. Family members of the girls said the Ride and Drive has grown each year.
“It’s overwhelming, and just what a blessing,” Collins said. “We have a lot of people that are here every year, and a lot of new ones too. And it’s just, it’s kind of overwhelming. Just makes me, like, tear up.”
Family members said the ride has also become a way loved ones of those missing or killed can lean on each other—people like Benny Affrunti, who said the mother of his children has been missing since 2021.
“I feel like, you know, victims deserve a voice and that they deserve, you know, people to stand up for them,” Affrunti said. “I feel like this is a really good example of people standing up for Elizabeth and for Lyric.”
Elizabeth and Lyric’s unsolved case continues to agonize their families.
“Obviously, that pain is never going to go away,” Davis said.
“We have no idea who killed Elizabeth and Lyric still,” Collins said. “So definitely still want to get people to know that. Because some people think that the case has been solved, but it hasn’t.”
In the midst of the pain, events like the Ride and Drive Saturday remind family members of the love and support behind them as they continue to hope for justice.
“It just makes you feel like, you know, there’s so much bad out in the world. So this is something good,” Collins said.
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