It was a warm July morning in Evansdale, Iowa when two little cousins, 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins, and 10-year-old Lyric Cook went on a daylight bike ride. The little girls loved riding their bikes and playing together, especially when they were both together at Elizabeth’s house. On July 13, 2012 the girls’ grandmother, Wylma Cook, was watching the cousins at Elizabeth’s house to help out. At 11:30 a.m. the girls asked their grandmother if they could go for a bike ride. They would always ride up and down the street and go only as far as a parking lot across the street. But within an hour Wylma Cook knew something was wrong. Elizabeth and Lyric never came home. By 3 p.m. that afternoon police were searching for the girls. By 4 p.m. the girls’ purple and red bikes, Elizabeth’s purple purse and cell phone were found just 2 miles away on a trail near Meyers Lake. But since then, the two girls have not been found.
New Tips Coming In, Authorities Knocking On Doors
The investigation is still ongoing and there is a command post dedicated to the search for Elizabeth and Lyric. FBI agents, local law enforcement and the Division of Criminal Investigation are all on the case and working together. The FBI confirms people are coming in with new information but were delayed in getting the information to authorities because they didn’t feel their tips were worthy enough to tell law enforcement. But it turns out their information has provided new pieces to the puzzle. Exactly what that information is, authorities will not release to the public. DCI and FBI agents are knocking on doors, and not just sex offenders, but checking all the homes around Evansdale, Iowa. Is this in light of new people coming forward or do authorities think they may have missed something?
Are Elizabeth & Lyric still alive?
The more time that passes in missing children’s cases, the more likely the odds are against the child’s safety. But in this case, months later, investigators are still working under the premise the little cousins are still alive. “We don’t have any reason to believe they’re not alive”, according to an FBI spokesperson. What do they know?
Did the girls drown?
Many believed the girls could have drowned in Meyers Lake since their bikes were found nearby. But investigators spent countless hours draining that pond and there were no signs of the girls. Bloodhounds were even brought in during the pond search and they picked up the girls’ scents. The scents went as far as a mile away from the trail where the missing girls would have been riding their bikes. Lyric and Elizabeth’s grandmother, Wylma Cook, says she doesn’t believe they would go into the lake with their shoes and clothes on, especially Elizabeth who was wearing her favorite black high-top sneakers, and says 10-year-old Lyric is a strong swimmer. The drowning theory has been completely ruled out, according to an FBI spokesperson.
Were the girls kidnapped?
The last family member to see Lyric and Elizabeth alive, their grandmother Wylma Cook, says she believes the girls were kidnapped by a pedophile, a pedophile who had been watching children on their bikes. And that summer many children were riding their bikes everywhere. Although the missing girls’ bikes, a big piece of evidence, were found, Cook believes the crime scene was staged by the kidnapper.
Family: Cops have completely ruled us out.
It’s commonplace for investigators to take a close look at the inner circle first, the family and friends, and work their way out. Relatives say investigators were tough on Elizabeth and Lyric’s family, especially the men, in the beginning. But since then they have been completely cleared by polygraphs and are not persons of interest or suspects.
There is a $15,000 reward and anybody who has any information should come forward to help bring Elizabeth and Lyric home. Their family desperately wants them back.
Family statement: “We want our kids to be back. Whoever has them just drop them off anywhere we don’t care who you are. Just let us have them.”
Here are the tip lines:
Evansdale Police Department: 319-232-6682