Two bodies found by hunters in the wilderness have been positively identified as two missing Iowa cousins, Lyric Cook, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8.
Authorities were able to confirm the identifications on Monday and added that the girls’ families have been notified, reports CNN.
The girls’ bodies were found by hunters in the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area in Bremer County, Iowa. The cause of death for both Iowa cousins is still pending. Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson stated:
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those precious little girls.”
Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins were last seen on July 13 when their grandmother let them go out on a bike ride. The girls’ bikes, along with a purse, were discovered near Meyers Lake in Evansdale hours after they were first reported as missing.
Officials drained the lake to look for the missing Iowa girls and investigators initially believed the girls to still be alive. Residents gathered at Meyers Lake for a candlelight vigil last week when the bodies were found, but before they were positively identified.
ABC News notes that the news is no surprise, because the bodies have been thought to be the missing Iowa cousins since they were discovered last week. Authorities stated last Wednesday that they were “confident” the bodies belonged to Lyric and Elizabeth.
The Seven Bridges Wildlife Area where the two bodies were discovered is about 25 miles from Evansdale, Iowa. Ken Carroll, who works at Poyner Elementary where Elizabeth was in fourth grade, stated, “I guess I’m not surprised … because of the length of time that they’ve been missing.”
Last week when the girls’ bodies were first discovered, Elizabeth’s mother, Heather Collins, posted a message to Facebook expressing her thanks for the support the family has received amid the “gut-wrenching news.” Collins added:
“We know that they are up in heaven with our savior. Lord we know that you have them in your loving arms and we are so blessed.”
Are you surprised to learn that the bodies found last week have been positively identified as the missing Iowa Cousins, Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins?