Evansdale, IA — Two bodies found Wednesday are believed to be the remains of Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook, cousins from Iowa who went missing in July, police said.
The girls disappeared shortly after leaving their grandmother’s house in Evansdale on July 13. Cook was 10 and Collins was 8 at the time.
According to Capt. Rick Abben of the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s office, hunters found the two bodies in a wooded area. The bodies were found around 12:45 pm, and the area where they were found is still being searched.
The girls’ families had been notified after the bodies were found, but positive identification will be determined by the state medical examiner, Abben said.
Abben did not say if police had a suspect in the girls’ disappearance, but he did say additional details would be released during a news conference on Thursday.
When the girls first went missing, their bikes and a purse were found near Lake Meyer, which prompted investigators to send divers into the lake with the sonar. When there was no sign of the girls at the lake, the case was reclassified as an abduction.
At the time, Abben said, “Now that it’s an abduction, everyone’s a suspect.” Investigators had recovered evidence and sent it to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation for analysis, but they did not say what the evidence was or where it was found.
Hundred of volunteers helped canvas wooded areas and cornfields, and the mayor even flew his private plane above the area to help search for the girls.