News that hunters had found two bodies in Iowa saddened locals hoping for a better outcome in the disappearance of two young girls, but their mother and aunt have confirmed that the Evansdale, Iowa cousins have been positively identified after the sad discovery.
Hunters found the bodies of the two girls, who had been missing since July 13, but police are tight-lipped regarding much else about the outcome thus far.
Elizabeth Collins, 9, and Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 11, vanished without a trace five months ago, and authorities are awaiting further information from forensic investigators before disclosing more information on the find.
While police are keeping quiet, mother Heather Collins posted to Facebook after the hunters found the bodies in what is presumed to be a remote wooded area, updating friends that the family was thankful for support and prayers and that Elizabeth had been found. Collins said:
“We have been so blessed by … all the prayers and support tonight with the gut wrenching news that my beautiful daughter and niece’s bodies were found by hunters today … Lord we know that you have them in your loving arms and we are so blessed for that.”
Officials from the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the hunters’ find as two bodies, discovered at around 12:45 pm yesterday, but initially did not comment on estimated gender or age for the victims. Capt. Rick Abben indicated that the bodies were transported Wednesday evening to the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny.
“It’s definitely not the outcome we wanted. Numerous officers from many, many jurisdictions have worked on this case around the clock since the 13th of July … This is a difficult thing for us to go through. It’s a difficult thing for the people in the community, not just the community of Evansdale. The whole community came together to show their support for the family.”
Of the hunters’ find, Abben said where the two bodies were located and further details were not being disclosed because evidence was still being collected, adding that “preservation of the scene is paramount.”