Hunters on Wednesday found two bodies at around 12:45 p.m. that police say may be related to the case of two missing Evansdale cousins.
Chief Deputy Rick Abben with the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office called a press conference at 4 p.m. Wednesday and said the bodies that were found were sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Ankeny to be identified.
He declined to say where the bodies were found so that investigators can clear the scene.
"Right now, preservation of that scene is paramount," Abben said.
Abben noted that police were "not 100 percent sure" the bodies were those of missing Evansdale cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook, but said that both the Cook and Collins families were notified of the discovery.
"It's definitely not the outcome that we wanted, obviously," Abben said. "This is a difficult thing for us to go through; it's a difficult thing for people in the community."
A second press conference at the Evansdale Police Department is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6.
Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook, cousins from Evansdale, went missing July 13. Their bicycles were found abandoned near Meyers Lake in Evansdale.
Since Cook and Collins went missing, police and federal investigators had consistently said they believed both girls to be alive. They also said someone had information about the girls' whereabouts and needed to come forward.
Investigators continue to ask anyone with information, or anyone who thinks they might have seen the girls on July 13 between noon and 6 p.m. in Evansdale, to call the tipline -- 319-232-6682 or 1-800- 346-5507. Tips can also be emailed to OurMissingIowaGirls@dps.state.ia.us.
The full police statement released Wednesday:
Evansdale Missing Cousins Law Enforcement Update (12-05-12)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Captain Rick Abben, Chief Deputy
Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office
225 East 6th Street
Waterloo, Iowa 50703
Today, at approximately 1245hrs, law enforcement was notified by hunters that they had discovered two deceased bodies in a wooded area.
The Cook and Collins families have been notified of the discovery.
The bodies are being transported to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Ankeny for positive identification.
Lyric and Elizabeth were last seen Friday, July 13, 2012, at approximately 12:15 Pm riding their bicycles in Evansdale. Their bicycles and a purse were found at Meyers Lake in Evansdale.
Since that day the investigation has been on going, numerous agencies have been and are still involved in this case. The public has been very helpful in assisting with searches and calling in leads. A substantial reward has been established that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible in this case. Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers continues to accept donations toward their reward at 1-855-300TIPS. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIP Line at 319-232-6682 or e-mail: OURMISSINGIOWAGIRLS@dps.state.ia.us
Law enforcement wants to thank the public and the media for their assistance and support in this case. No further information will be released at this time. A news conference will be held tomorrow at 4:00 PM at the Evansdale City Hall. If pertinent information can be released before that time you will be notified otherwise nothing else will be released at this time.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the community for their on-going support and at this time request privacy.
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