September 16, 2014

Two Evansdale girls missing since early Friday afternoon

Authorities plan to resume their search this morning for two young Evansdale girls who disappeared Friday while riding their bicycles in the community, just east of Waterloo. 

Evansdale police chief Kent Smock says his department is treating the case as “a suspicious disappearance” — meaning abduction is a possibility. The search for eight-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 11-year-old Lyric Morrisey began just before 3 p.m. Friday when authorities learned the cousins had been missing nearly 2-1/2 hours.

Smock says Collins and Morrisey were last seen riding bicycles near Evansdale’s downtown area around 12:30 Friday afternoon. Their bicycles were later found along a nature trail next to a lake in a residential area that’s about a mile from where the girls were last known to be. Police and firefighters from Waterloo and several nearby communities — along with Black Hawk County sheriff’s deputies and the Iowa State Patrol – joined Evansdale authorities and dozens of volunteers in the search, which extended about four miles.

With the aid of an Iowa State Patrol airplane, a privately-owned helicopter and boats, searchers dragged the lake and scanned the surrounding woods, a nearby creek and a city campground, but found no traces of the girls on Friday. Darkness forced authorities to call off their search after about five hours, but volunteers continued their efforts overnight. 

Officials plan to resume the search at 8 a.m. today. Volunteers should meet at the Community Response Center on Evans Road in Evansdale. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the missing girls or who saw Collins and Morrisey after 12:15 p.m. on Friday should contact Evansdale police at 319-232-6682.

(Reporting by Elwin Huffman, KOEL, Oelwein)