Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says he is closely watching the search for the two missing girls from Evansdale.
Evansdale is located on the border of Waterloo and Braley says his two sons played in the softball league that includes the community where 10-year-old Lyric Cook and eight-year-old Elizabeth Collins lived.
The girls were last seen on Friday riding their bikes in Evansdale.
“Today at the request of one of the families I’m reaching out to F.B.I. director Mueller and asking that the F.B.I. provide every resource available to assist in the search,” Braley says.
“I know that the local law enforcement agencies are working incredibly hard along with a tremendous amount of volunteer assistance. This is a situation where we need to get all the help we can, and that’s why I want to the F.B.I. is fully engaged and taking this very seriously.”
Braley says the F.B.I. has some significant resources to help in these type of cases. “They run the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, which provides free assistance in the form of investigative and operational support, research and training to state, local law enforcement agencies. It has a rapid response element that applies the most current expertise available in matters of missing children. It also provides technical and forensic resource coordination and operational assistance,” according to Braley.
The F.B.I. also has special expertise in kidnapping cases. “If there is reason to believe that an abduction has occurred — which there certainly is in this case — they have a child abduction Rapid Deployment Team that can provide divers who are trained in underwater rescue that have advanced training in that, that may or may not be available at the local level,” Braley explains. “So my goal is simple to get the F.B.I. engaged at the highest level.”
The girls’ parents say they believe the girls were abducted and did not go into the local lake where their bikes were found. The Chief Deputy in Black Hawk County says they are considering all possibilities at this point.
Officials are continuing to drain Lake Meyers to be certain the girls are not in the lake. Officials brought in a pump today to help speed the draining process, which could be completed by the end of the day.
Photo by Elwin Huffman, KOEL, Oelwein