Iowa Cousins' Disappearance Deemed Abduction, As One Dad Put Under Supervision
EVANSDALE, Iowa – Law enforcement officials in Iowa reclassified the disappearance of two missing cousins as an abduction Friday after an FBI dive team failed to find their bodies in an Iowa lake.
Ten-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins disappeared a week ago while riding bikes near Meyers Lake in Evansdale. Their bikes were later found on a path near the lake.
A special 10-member FBI dive team used sonar equipment on a boat for hours Friday to search the 26-acre lake. Divers waded through the water looking for evidence but did not appear to go beneath the surface. By mid-afternoon, an FBI truck and many other police officers had left and little search activity was going on.
Black Hawk County Chief Deputy Rick Abben told reporters later Friday that the divers were confident the girls' bodies were not in the lake. He also said investigators do not believe the girls got lost because they would have been found by now.
Abben said some evidence in the case has been sent to a state crime lab for analysis, but he would not elaborate on that.
The reclassification came as Iowa authorities took steps to keep a closer watch on Lyric's father, a man with a lengthy criminal history who stopped cooperating with police in the week-old investigation.
Court records showed Friday that a judge has ordered Daniel Morrissey, 36, placed in a pretrial supervision program of the Iowa Department of Corrections while he faces September trials in two separate drug cases. The change means Morrissey, who has been free on bond, will be supervised by parole officers who will make sure he shows up in court and does not violate the terms of his release.
Black Hawk County prosecutor Brad Walz petitioned to place Morrissey under supervision Thursday, the day authorities said he and his wife had stopped cooperating with investigators. Walz cited Morrissey's arrests on methamphetamine-related charges and noted Iowa law allows a person on bond who is considered "a habitual felon" to remain under supervision as a condition of release.
Authorities have said Morrissey and his wife aren't considered suspects and they are not sure why the couple stopped cooperating.
Tammy Brousseau, an aunt of both girls, has said an attorney advised the couple to stop talking to reporters, discontinue television interviews and not agree to take any more polygraph tests.
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