Law enforcement officials searching for two missing cousins said FBI dogs have detected the girls’ scent near an Iowa lake where their bicycles were found, as family members voiced skepticism the girls had drowned.
Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, and her cousin, Elizabeth Collins, 8, were last seen riding their bikes the afternoon of July 13, about a mile from their grandmother’s house in the small town of Evansdale.
Local and federal authorities searching for the girls on Monday began draining Meyers Lake, where the abandoned bikes were discovered, and brought in FBI sniffer dogs to help in the investigation.
Reaction from the dogs indicated a “strong possibility” the girls had been at the lake, according to FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault.
The girls’ family said Tuesday they had been informed of the development but had little other information from authorities.
“We have no updates at this point except the canines picked up scents and they were happy with the movements, but they needed to go back and discuss what those movements meant, and we haven’t heard yet what the result of that was,” said Lyric’s mother, Misty Cook-Morrissey.
Via Facebook: Elizabeth Collins, left, and Lyric Cook-Morrissey.
Rick Abben, a chief deputy with the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Department, declined to say whether the girls’ scent had been detected by the bloodhounds, adding that the case was still considered a missing persons investigation.
At a press conference, Abben said there was “no reason to believe there’s been any foul play at this time.”
But family members remained skeptical the girls were in the lake and felt that authorities scouring the area would reach a dead end.
“If they were swimming, they would have taken their shoes off. Things like that that there was no signs of any of that,” said Daniel Morrissey, Lyric’s father.
Family members also said they have no idea where the girls might be.
“We have no theories,” Misty Morrissey said. “Trying to remain positive, we have no idea. We are pretty confident that they aren’t around here.”Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/fbi-sniffer-dogs-detect-scent-missing-cousins-iowa-lake-article-1.1116801#ixzz2164xTSvi