Family 'trying to remain positive' in search for missing cousins

Father of one of missing girls says he doubts possibility of drowning

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EVANSDALE, Iowa - Authorities continue to drain Meyers Lake and follow tips in the search for two missing girls, but officials don't have any new information in connection with their disappearance.

Family members continue to "try and stay positive" as the search presses on for Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, which now is in its fourth day.

"We are still working this as a 24-7 operation," said Capt. Rick Abben with the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office. He said investigators continue to receive leads from the public but was tight-lipped about any developments.

Misty Morrissey, mother of Lyric,  says as the days go by, things only gets harder.

"Right now we are pretty emotional, pretty sad," Misty Morrissey said in an interview on Tuesday afternoon. "But we believe that God is going to bring a resolution to this."

Law enforcement taped off much of Meyers Lake early Tuesday afternoon, as the current draining of the lake continues in search of resolving the mystery that has surrounded the girls' disappearance since last Friday.

Firefighters on kayaks floated toward anything that appeared suspicious and crews have added a pump to speed up the draining.

Daniel Morrissey, Lyric's father, said his daughter is a fair swimmer and doubts the possibility of a drowning.

"I don't think that they are in the lake, not at all, it's a dead end as far as we know," Daniel Morrissey said.

Family members say they have their doubts, but still have no guesses as to the true whereabouts of the girls.

"We have no theories," Misty Morrissey said said. "Trying to remain positive, we have no idea. We are pretty confident that they aren't around here."

Officials said that the search expanded further into Black Hawk County on Tuesday, with K9 units from various agencies, including the FBI units, scanning the area for any trace of a scent.

Abben said tips have come in that led police to areas outside of Evansdale, but he declined to be specific or talk about any results.

"Every tip is being followed up on," said Abben, who again encouraged anyone with information to call the tip hotline.

He also declined to talk about the results of any tracking dogs that have been used during the search or what investigators have been able to tell from the abandoned bicycles.

"The bikes have been processed," Abben said. As for the results of any fingerprinting, Abben said he would just "leave it at that."

Despite the fact that authorities are rounding out their fourth day in the search, law enforcement morale was good Abben said.

Meanwhile at Meyers Lake, residents passed through during the day to see the drawdown, which began on Monday. Today, city workers removed boat docks from the north shore, carrying the structures past brick retaining walls topped with the remains of candles from earlier vigils.

Despite any frustration the family feels towards the search, Misty Morrissey said they are aware and appreciate all the efforts put forth by law enforcement in the search to find their daughter and niece.

"They are the professionals, they know what they are doing, they've got their processes, they have experience, so we trust that they are doing anything they can," said Misty.

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