DANIEL P. FINNEY, Des Moines Register
Authorities searching for two Iowa cousins missing for more than a week are receiving improved cooperation from the girls' families, a Black Hawk County deputy sheriff said Monday.
Last week, some family members of one of the missing girls said they were not going to cooperate with law enforcement officials any longer.
On Monday, Misty Cook-Morrissey, mother of one of the missing girls, said she passed a polygraph test that proves she had nothing to do with the disappearance of the cousins. A state agent quizzed her on whether she had anything to do with the abduction of her daughter and niece, Cook-Morrissey said.
Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, disappeared on July 13. The girls' bicycles were found on a recreation trail just south of Meyers Lake in Evansdale. FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault over the weekend said officials thought the girls had been abducted but were alive.
On Monday, Chief Deputy Rick Abben of the Black Hawk County sheriff's office declined to say why authorities think the girls are alive.
"We certainly would like to think that," he said during a news briefing. "We have nothing to indicate that they are not. We want to keep hopes up and for the family to keep the hope up, but there's nothing to indicate that there's anything other than that."
Abben would neither confirm nor deny that a polygraph test had been administered to Misty Cook-Morrissey. However, he said the relationship between some family members and law enforcement had improved. The cooperation "is better than it was," he said. "We're getting what we asked for."
Also Monday, investigators sought to interview a person who was paddle- boating on Meyers Lake. The boater is not a suspect, but authorities would like to interview all those who were at Meyers Lake on the afternoon of July 13, regardless of whether they saw the girls.
Agents believe the boater was on the lake between noon and 1 p.m. Authorities did not know if the paddle boat was rented or privately owned or what type of paddle boat it was.
Authorities also put out a call for anyone in the area with home or business video surveillance equipment to contact authorities. The video might prove useful in the investigation.
Abben said some evidence had been taken to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation lab for processing, but he declined to elaborate on it.
There are no suspects at this time, Abben said.
Tips continued to flow in. The tip line is 319-232-6682.
This report includes information from the Associated Press.
Des Moines Register