Posted at: 12/06/2012 4:21 PM
Updated at: 12/06/2012 10:14 PM
By: Dietrich Nissen
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- On Thursday afternoon, the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s office announced it’s confident the bodies found on Wednesday are those of two missing Iowa girls.
At a 4 p.m. news conference, Chief Deputy Rick Abben told news media their office is waiting for a state medical examiner’s autopsy to positively identify these are the girls. However, authorities say they’re certain these are them based on a few factors.
The Sheriff says there are no other missing people in the area, the bodies are smaller in stature, and there was evidence near the bodies suggesting who they are.
"At this time, law enforcement is confident based upon evidence at the scene and preliminary investigation, that the bodies found yesterday, are those of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins," said Abben. It began five months ago, when 10 year-old, Lyric Cook, and her 8 year-old cousin, Elizabeth Collins, vanished while riding their bikes near a popular lake in Evansdale, Iowa.
"We considered an abduction at the time and we're still proceeding with that," said Abben. Now months later, authorities say the two girls may have been found.
"At approximately 12:45 p.m., hunters discovered two bodies at Seven Bridges Conservation Area near Readlyn, Iowa," said Abben. The bodies were discovered at the wildlife refuge which is about 25 miles northeast from where the girls were last seen. The sheriff says the area may not have been searched because of where it's located.
"This area was not right on the road itself so if that area was checked, I'm not certain," said Abben. The area is still being searched and will be for several days.
"We have plenty of people that are out there. They're well-trained, they know what they're doing, and so we will gather whatever is out there," said Abben.
Authorities wouldn't comment on how long they believed the bodies had been there or if they have any suspects. Authorities continue to ask for the public’s help in solving this case.