Authorities said Thursday that they are “confident” two bodies found by hunters in a wooded area in Iowa are those of two young cousins missing for almost five months, but a positive identification has not been made.
Captain Rick Abben of the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office said at a press conference that nobody else is missing in the area and the bodies were “smaller in stature.” Investigators are still waiting for the medical examiner to provide an official identification and autopsy results.
Lyric Cook, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, were last seen on July 13 in Evansdale, Iowa, after asking their grandmother if they could go for a bike ride. Their bicycles and Elizabeth’s purse were later found near Meyers Lake a few miles away, but extensive searches turned up few clues about what happened to them.
The sheriff’s office announced the discovery of the remains by hunters on Wednesday afternoon. Abben said Thursday that the bodies were found near the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area, which is about 25 miles from Evansdale.
Evidence teams from several law enforcement agencies are conducting a thorough search of the surrounding area. Abben said the search could take several days and the area may be closed to the public until Monday.
Abben said the girls’ case is still being treated as an abduction at this point.
Authorities are urging anyone with information to contact them at 319-232-6682 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.