Lake, landfill searched for missing Iowa cousins

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities searching for two missing cousins said Wednesday that they have hunted for clues in a landfill and were summoning heavy equipment to more closely examine a northeast Iowa lake where the girls’ bicycles were found last week.

As the search for Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, entered its sixth day, family members pleaded for officials to do even more. A congressman requested assistance from additional FBI agents to resume an all-out manhunt for the girls, last seen Friday leaving Elizabeth’s house less than a mile from the lake.

“We’re at a standstill,” said Tammy Brousseau, aunt to both girls, told The Associated Press. “Bring in everybody. Bring in the army. Let’s do this manhunt again ... They disappeared into thin air.”

For the third straight day, authorities drained the lake with hopes of ruling out that the girls’ bodies would be found underwater. The effort was taking longer than expected, but Black Hawk County Chief Deputy Rick Abben said he expected it to wrap up by Friday with the help of the equipment. He told members of the media to move their vehicles from the area to clear a path for the equipment, which he didn’t describe.

Debbie Acklin of Black Hawk County Waste Disposal, the company that handles trash collection in the area, said authorities asked the company Monday to start dumping trash from Evansdale homes and businesses in a separate area of the county landfill. Abben confirmed the landfill had been searched but declined to say what, if any, evidence was found.

Brousseau said officers recently went into a family home and confiscated all the computers “for the purpose of seeing what information they could get off them.”

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