Since we first learned of the mysterious disappearance of two young Iowa girls, Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 11, and Elizabeth Collins, 9, we hoped for the best, but feared for the worst. Tonight it seems the worst has happened as police say hunters have found two bodies believed to be those of the girls. Hearts across the nation are breaking as we weep for these families and hug our own as we imagine how easily we could be in their place right now.
The girls, who were cousins, were on a bike ride this past July 13 in Evansdale, Iowa, when they went missing. There were no witnesses, no cars, no suspects. It was as if they had just vanished.
But girls don't just vanish, and so for months now their families have been put through the hell of wondering where their precious babies are; likely torn between not wanting to give up hope and not wanting to believe in false hope. But tonight has got to be worse than any of it, because if these are indeed their bodies, there is no longer any hope of any kind.
Black Hawk County sheriff's Capt. Rick Abben emotionally told media, "It's definitely not the outcome that we wanted, obviously."
While police aren't releasing many details as of yet, according to CBS, the girls' families have asked for privacy. They did, however, express gratitude to the community for all the support they received. Tonight a vigil is being held by the lake near where they disappeared.
Just a few weeks ago the girls' parents released a heartfelt letter in which they expressed sympathy for whoever was responsible for the abduction of these girls. Tonight it's difficult to feel anything but rage toward anyone who could take the lives of these innocent, beautiful girls.
All that is left now is questions -- questions as to why, how, and most importantly who. This case has had so few clues and almost no leads to date, so hopefully the discovery of the bodies will lead to at least some answers. While no answers will undo what happened, at least they may prevent something similar from happening again and bring some justice to a case that is heartbreakingly unjust. Many thoughts and prayers to the families.
Image via Black Hawk County Sheriff's