The bodies found by hunters earlier this month in a wildlife area have officially been identified as missing Iowa cousins Lyric Cook Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins. But if Heather Collins has anything to do with it, we may never know how the girls died.
The mother of the younger of the two girls abducted in July while on a bike ride has come out to let the world know she has no interest in learning how her daughter died. In fact, 9-year-old Elizabeth's mom says she's already forgiven the killer (or killers) of her child and niece.
Said Heather in the lead-up to Elizabeth's funeral:
The more I know and the more evil I know about it, it would consume me. It would consume my mind, and I don't need that.
I have said, from day one, we forgive whoever did this, and we still do. Whoever did this, we forgive you. It is not for us to judge you, to judge what you have done to our beautiful daughter and to our niece. It's in God's hands, and he will take care of it.
My first thoughts? Good for her! This woman is going through the worst moments of her entire life, and she's finding the strength to get through it. When you consider the suicide rate for parents who have lost children, anything a parent can cling to to get through is worth it.
And yet, I can't help but wonder if this will all hit her, and everything will change. Grief is often cyclical. We go through periods of denial, acceptance, anger.
Heather Collins may never get angry with the person who killed Lyric and Elizabeth. But she will have to face that whoever killed her daughter and niece needs to be brought to justice, if for no other reason than because this person (or persons -- we still don't know) is a threat to other children. You don't simply abduct and murder two innocent children, then return to living a nice, quiet, law-abiding life. There is likely still a psychopath out there. No one wants to face that, but we all have to.
We will need to know a lot more about this case -- from cause of death to, hopefully, eventually, who caused it -- before this is over. I just hope Heather and the rest of the Collins, Cook, and Morrissey families will be protected in all of the hoopla that is yet to come.
Put yourself in Elizabeth Collins' mom's shoes. Would you be able to just turn it off like her?
Image via Black Hawk County Sheriff's Department