Evansdale, Iowa police searching for two missing girls - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Evansdale, Iowa police searching for two missing girls

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(left) Elizabeth Collins & (right) Lyric Cook (left) Elizabeth Collins & (right) Lyric Cook
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EVANSDALE, Iowa (KWWL) - Police in Evansdale, Iowa (southeast of Waterloo) are not seeking additional search assistance from the general public Monday. 

The department  thanks the community for it's overwhelming support and at this point are suspending additional searches for now. When that changes, they will contact local media outlets and again ask for assistance from the public.

Sunday, authorities expanded the search area to try and find the 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 10-year-old Lyric Cook.   The girls have been missing since going on a bike ride Friday afternoon.

Nine hundred volunteers searched the streets, bike trails, and corn fields in and around Evansdale for any sign of the girls Sunday.  Waterloo search and rescue was even called back to look through the Cedar River.  Meyers Lake in Evansdale has been completely dragged, and officials say they're confident the pair is not in the lake.             

But after three days of searching, there's not so much as a trace of where the two girls are. 

"We've got a few leads that have come in, but nothing is panning out," said Richard Abben with the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office.

The search now extends well beyond the lake.  Police have been going door-to-door asking if anyone's seen the girls, or anything suspicious in the area.

Volunteers have also combed nearby corn fields.  Altogether, just more than half of Evansdale has been searched.  Cody Brunning is among the hundreds who have volunteered all weekend.  They've been battling the heat, with lots of ice and water going out to help.

"You know if it was my kid, I'd want everybody out looking.  So it's good.  There's a lot of people.  I couldn't believe it," Brunning said.

But so far, searchers have come up empty.

"It's like they vanished...just nothing," Abben said.

Still, family hangs on to hope that they will be found:  alive and safe.

"We just feel that God has really strengthened us, you know, and not left us in a discouraged state.  So we're extremely hopeful," said Misty Morrissey, Lyric's mother.

So many volunteers gathered to help, some waited long periods of time to get assigned.  But families of the missing girls say it's a good problem to have.  The more eyes out looking, the better chance they will be found.

"It's not easy.  It's hot and wet.  There's ticks and mosquitoes and limbs, brush and mud.  It's difficult, and there's some real difficult terrain out there.  So I really appreciate it, and I know that my sister and her husband appreciate it too.  God will provide as much help is as needed," said Morrissey.

Thousands of dollars in reward money has been donated for information related to locating the girls.  A fund has been set up at First Security State Bank in Evansdale.   

Anyone who was on the bike trail Friday afternoon and may have seen something, is strongly encouraged to contact the Evansdale Police Department.  That number is 319-232-6682.

Police still say there is no reason to suspect foul play in the case.  That means an Amber Alert cannot be issued for the girls because there is no evidence to suggest they were abducted and there are no suspects.  The girls have been listed on the national missing persons registry.

Collins is a student at Poyner Elementary. Cook is a student at Kingsley Elementary in Waterloo.

Police have questioned the girls' family members, friends, relatives, and known registered sex offenders in the area.  Interstate 380 construction workers staying nearby have also been questioned.  But so far, that's all come up empty.

Family has not given an accurate clothing description for what the girls were last seen wearing.  Multiple tipsters have called in sightings of clothing in the area, but so far none of those items have even been the right size.