Dan Morrissey headed to prison on drug charges

2013-09-13T23:15:00Z 2013-11-29T06:43:28Z Dan Morrissey headed to prison on drug chargesBy JEFF REINITZ jeff.reinitz@wcfcourier.com Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

WATERLOO, Iowa — The father of one of two slain young female cousins in Evansdale said he relapsed as he struggled to come to terms with the disappearance and death of his daughter.

Caught between the tragedy of his daughter’s abduction and an out-of-control drug habit, Daniel Eugene Morrissey said he ultimately cracked.

“People told me, they said ‘I couldn’t imagine what you’re going through, losing your daughter, all the scrutiny of the media, the scrutiny of people on Facebook.’ Everything that came at me, I felt like Job in the Bible,” said Morrissey, 37, of Waterloo.

The comments came Friday as Morrissey — father of Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, who disappeared in July 2012 with her cousin, Elizabeth Collins, 8, and was later found dead — was sentenced to 90 years in prison with a 30-year mandatory minimum after pleading guilty to three sets of drug charges in connection with incidents before his daughter’s disappearance and after the discovery of her body.

No one has been charged in connection with the girls’ deaths.

Morrissey said his son, now 17, had kept him grounded, but he relapsed on Oct. 2, his daughter’s birthday, and he went to treatment.

“It was just something I couldn’t deal with,” Morrissey said. He said the second blow came in December when the girls’ bodies were found in a rural Bremer County wildlife area.

He said he was suffering from depression but was turned away from a hospital because he wasn’t threatening to harm himself or others.

“My problem at that time wasn’t drugs, my problem was grief ... I really still can’t accept it,” Morrissey said.

“Anytime someone loses a young child, everybody would understand that people deal with grief in different manners, and it probably doesn’t help when you’re an addict,” said defense attorney Kevin Schoeberl.

He said Morrissey wasn’t a big-time dealer, just a person with a drug addiction and has admitted to his wrongdoing.

“My client hasn’t physically harmed anybody. If anything, he harmed himself,” Schoeberl said.

Morrissey’s mother, Vicki Weikert, said her son is an intelligent and compassionate man who has been bound for years by addiction.

But prosecutors painted a different picture of Morrissey, stating there was evidence he simply continued his involvement with drugs during the disappearance, not only using them himself but selling them for profit.

“He was doing this activity before, he did it after ... There are reports of his house smelling of chemicals the day that the report was given that they found the bodies. That wasn’t a triggering event. That started before that, to have that chemical smell before the report was even given,” Assistant Black Hawk County Attorney Brad Walz said.

“He is getting pseudoephedrine and lithium and other items for manufacturing methamphetamine while the (Tri-County Drug Enforcement) Task Force is following him around ... He’s doing this where you’d think Mr. Morrissey would have some idea that people might be following him or watching what he’s doing,” Walz said.

Morrissey’s 17-year-old son was with him when police saw Morrissey drop a package of fake meth. He said the son was also at a meth lab at a Kingsley Street home when police raided it in December 2011.

Walz had asked the court to stack the sentences for a total of 135 years, and the defense had suggested something in the 30- to 40-year range would be appropriate.

In handing down the 90-year sentence, Judge David Staudt said Morrissey had “affected negatively probably every person” he’d come into contact with.

“Since you were released from custody after your daughter’s unfortunate event, you were utilizing other women you knew to go to stores to buy or steal pseudoephedrine so you could manufacture methamphetamine,” he said. “The fact that your child was in your home when you were arrested on these events show that you don’t use very good judgment concerning yourself as a parent, to subject them to those conditions, to those situations, to those individuals and to that behavior is certainly not good parenting.”

Copyright 2015 Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. Think
    Report Abuse
    Think - September 17, 2013 8:54 am
    This one alone will cost us a million. End this drug war Nixon gave us and open rehab in place of prison.Nixon's war to date 7 trillion when all costs are added.That's enough to give health care to every American for 50 years.
  2. auntmerder
    Report Abuse
    auntmerder - September 13, 2013 2:33 pm
    Good--should have received the maximum sentence
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Tip line

Authorities are asking anyone who saw the girls to call the Tip Line, (319) 232-6682 or e-mail to OURMISSINGIOWAGIRLS@dps.state.ia.us. The tipline is manned 24 hours.

A reward of $150,000 has been established for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

Other tip lines:

- Crime Stoppers Hotline at (855) 300-8477
- FBI tipline at (402) 493-8688
- DCI tipline at (515) 725-6010


Donations

For information on donations, contact the First Security Bank in Evansdale at (319) 235-6731.

The Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers has also set up a separate reward for information leading to an arrest. All donations collected between Nov. 19 and Dec. 19 will go toward this reward.

Donations can be left at the Evansdale Police Department, Cedar Falls Police Department, Waterloo Police Department and the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office. Donations can also be mailed to Crime Stoppers- Elizabeth and Lyric, PO Box 1510, Waterloo, IA 50704.


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Photos

Photos: The hunt for Elizabeth and Lyric (part 2)

Photos: The hunt for Elizabeth and Lyric (part 2)

Photos of the 5-month search for missing cousins Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, who were found dead in December.

December 05, 2014 4:00 am Photos

Photos

(3)
Photos: The hunt for Elizabeth and Lyric (part 1)

Photos: The hunt for Elizabeth and Lyric (part 1)

Photos of the 5-month search for missing cousins Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, who were found dead in December.

December 05, 2014 4:00 am Photos

Photos

(0)