UPDATE: Divers going in Meyers Lake

2012-07-20T12:30:00Z 2015-03-03T18:58:45Z UPDATE: Divers going in Meyers LakeBy EMILY CHRISTENSEN, emily.christensen@wcfcourier.com and JEFF REINITZ, jeff.reintiz@wcfcourier.com and AUSTIN ASHLOCK, austin.ashlock@wcfcourier.com Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

To view the missing poster for the two girls, click here.

To view a map of where the girls were last seen, click here.

For live updates in the case, click here.


EVANSDALE, Iowa --- Divers are in place on the shores of Meyers Lake as the FBI prepares its search of the 26-acre where the only pieces of evidence behind the disappearance of Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook-Morrissey,10, have been found.

FBI spokesperson Sandy Breault spoke with the media briefly just after 11 a.m. and said a total of 10 divers are standing by at Meyers Lake.

Divers are waiting as the remainder of the sonar and search equipment is put into place.

Breault said divers will search for the girls, or recover any evidence that could help solve the mystery behind their disappearance on July 13.

"They will continue to search until what they are trying to get done is finished," Breault said.

FBI divers in place traveled from Los Angeles earlier this week to help push the weeklong investigation forward, but Breault was unaware of the steps that would be taken if FBI divers failed to recover anything from Meyers Lake.

A briefing between Black Hawk County Sheriff's Capt. Rick Abben and Breault was scheduled to take place at 11:30 a.m., after which the media will be address of any new information regarding the diving endeavor.

A boat from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources continues to scan the lake, allegedly preparing the equipment that will be used during the dive.


EVANSDALE, Iowa --- Search efforts for Elizabeth Collins, 8, of Evansdale, and Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, of Waterloo, have shifted back to Meyers Lake as of this morning.

Law enforcement and investigators arrived on the shores of Meyers Lake just before 8 a.m. to begin diving operation preformed by the FBI.

A boat from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources entered the water at 8:30 a.m. with sonar equipment on hand in order to map out the lake's deeper pockets to aid in the diver's search.

Black Hawk County Sheriff's Capt. Rick Abben said he is unaware of the operation's timeline, but divers should arrive sometime this morning.

"Look out for a U-Hual truck," Abben said. "The divers and their equipment will be coming in that."

Abben said the equipment being used in the search is some of the most high tech in the country.

"There are only three or four sets in the U.S.," Abben said.


FBI dive team arrives Friday

6 a.m. Friday - EVANSDALE, Iowa --- Authorities are gearing up for another day on Meyers Lake today as the search hit the one-week mark for missing cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8.

As the sun rose, the parking lot at the lake was empty, awaiting the arrival of gear to support an FBI dive team to explore the deeper sections that still remain under water. Two sheriff’s deputies were on duty there.

Meanwhile at the city’s combined fire and police station, officers, firefighters, deputies and federal agents began pulling up.

The FBI’s mobile command center was in the driveway as well as a second smaller FBI truck. Two jon boats arrived, one from the Evansdale fire department and a second from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Authorities Thursday stopped draining Meyers Lake in preparation for the dive team. Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Capt, Rick Abben said the divers needed the lake “to settle down” before they could go in the water. Local crews helped prepare the area for the dive team’s equipment by adding rock to the already-drained portion of the lake bed near the dock.

“This is some specialized equipment that is now available. We had sonar here on the weekend and that was showing nothing,” Abben said. “This stuff is being brought in by the FBI, and they are saying that this is some really high-tech stuff and there is only just a few units of this that are available in the whole United States for us to use. So it is coming this way.”

Abben said the next steps that might be taken at the lake will not be determined until the divers are done today.

“If we need to continue draining it further — if that’s what they think needs to be done — then we will do that,” Abben said. “I’m being told that this lake has some really deep pockets in it, somewhere between 15 and 20 feet deep.”


Tensions rise between authorities, family

As the seventh day of searching for two missing girls came to an end, law enforcement officials said the known facts of the case remain the same.

“We have two bikes, two missing girls and one purse,” Abben said.

To recap, the girls were last seen on their bikes about 12:15 p.m. July 13. Their bikes were found a few hours later near the bike trail around Meyers Lake. Elizabeth’s purse was nearby. There has been no sign of the girls since.

Misty Morrissey, the mother of Lyric Cook-Morrissey, and other family members met with authorities Thursday evening at the command center at Poyner Elementary School.

“They have no information. They have no idea about anything,” she said while rushing to a car with Dan Morrissey after more than an hour in the building.

Several members of the family were at the school shortly after 6 p.m. It was unclear how long they had been there. Drew and Heather Collins, Elizabeth’s parents, were in the building early on but left before 6:30 p.m. Grandmother Wylma Cook, the last person to see the girls, was the last to leave the building.

Earlier in the day Tammy Brousseau, the missing girls’ aunt, said an attorney had advised Misty and Dan Morrissey against talking with the police or media. She added the attorney, who she did not name, also told the parents not to take any additional polygraph tests.

Capt. Rick Abben said they have asked everyone to cooperate and when someone doesn’t it is a “distraction.”

“However, that is their choice,” he said.

In recent days the couple’s criminal background and multiple incarcerations has become the focus of attention in both the local and national media. Abben said they were aware of Misty and Dan Morrissey’s criminal history the day the two girls went missing.

He said “everyone was checked into. We did background checks on those people immediately.”

The family has said that Dan Morrissey has been interrogated by law enforcement officials and accused of killing the children.

Abben wouldn’t comment when asked if Dan or Misty Morrissey were considered suspects in the case or if there past criminal convictions are relevant in disappearance. He also would not say if any search warrants had been issued. On Wednesday he had said none had been issued.

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