Update: Remains Found Are Missing Evansdale Girls - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Update: Remains Found Are Missing Evansdale Girls

Updated:

UPDATE:

Authorities have confirmed they have found the bodies of 2 missing cousins from Evansdale. The Black Hawk County Sheriff's office did not release a lot of new details during a press conference Thursday. However, authorities did shed more light on the area where the girls' bodies were found.

A captain with the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Department says bodies presumed to be Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook were found in the Seven Bridges Park in rural Bremer County. The park is about 22-miles north of Evansdale where the girls disappeared. The park is closed to the public and will remain closed until at least Monday, so investigators can search for evidence.

Seven Bridges Park is very large and the Sheriff's Department is not sure if the area where the bodies were found was searched before. The spot where the hunters made the discovery is not along the road. Also, during the press conference authorities said the bodies have not been positively identified, but they are certain they have found the missing girls.

"At this time law enforcement is confident based upon evidence at the scene and preliminary investigation that the bodies found yesterday are those of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins," says Captain Rick Abben with the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Department, "We have no one else that's missing in this area, but we have 2 bodies that were found. They were smaller in stature and we have no reason to think other at this time."

The Sheriff's Department is still treating the case as an abduction. Investigators are leaning towards calling it a homicide, but that has not officially happened. No information about a suspect in the girls' disappearance has ben released.   A reward is still being offered for information that will lead to an arrest.

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PREVIOUS UPDATE:  The mother of one of the two cousins who went missing in Evansdale, Iowa last July said Wednesday evening that two bodies discovered earlier that day are those of the girls. 

Heather Collins posted the following statement on her Facebook page:  

"We have been so blessed by the [outpouring] of all the (prayers) and support tonight with the gut wrenching news that my beautiful daughter and niece's bodies were found by hunters today. This was [not] the outcome we wanted but we know that they are up in heaven with our Savior and [our] nightmare of where they are and what is happening to them has been answered. 

Lord, we know that you have them in your loving arms and we are so blessed [f]or that."

Investigators have not yet confirmed the identity of the bodies.  They also will not yet say exactly where the bodies were discovered.  However, several sources tell KWWL-TV the bodies were found in a wooded area of the 7 Bridges Park in rural Bremer County. The park is 22-miles north of Evansdale, where the girls went missing last July.

We may learn new details at a press conference scheduled for Thursday at 4 PM.  KWQC-TV is following the latest developments.

PREVIOUS STORY:

Authorities searching for two missing Iowa cousins since last July have released new information. The Black Hawk Co. Sheriff's Office announced that at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, hunters discovered two dead bodies, although they wouldn't say where. 

At a late afternoon news conference, Capt. Rick Abben announced they are still waiting for positive identification by the Iowa Medical Examiner's Office in Ankeny, where the bodies have been sent.

Authorities and members of the community have been searching for 10-year-old Lyric Cook and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins since the girls disappeared on July 13th. Their bikes were found near a lake by their home in Evansdale, Iowa. The lake is near Interstate 380, just outside of Waterloo.

Abben said "It's not the outcome we wanted" and that the girl's families have been notified of the discovery. He said the families wished to thank the community for all its support and asked for privacy at this time.

Officials say there continues to be a reward offered for information on the girls and encouraged people to call Crime Stoppers at 1-855-300-tips or (319) 232-6682.

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