Hunters may have found bodies of missing girls

By Mark Morgenstein

(CNN) — An Iowa family that’s been hoping for good news since two young cousins disappeared in July is now grappling with the worst.

Hunters discovered two bodies in a wooded area Wednesday afternoon, Black Hawk County sheriff’s Capt. Rick Abben said.

He said the family of Lyric Cook, 10, and her cousin Elizabeth Collins, 8, has been notified, although the bodies have not yet been positively identified. The bodies were taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Ankeny, Iowa.

“Right now, it’s looking like the outcome was not the one that we wanted,” Abben said at a news conference in Evansdale, Iowa.

While the medical examiner’s office has not publicly identified the bodies, Elizabeth’s mother Heather Collins posted a message on Facebook late Wednesday night:

“We have been so blessed by the out poor of all the pryers and support tonight with the gut wrenching news that my beautiful daughter and niece’s bodies were found by hunters today.This was the outcome we wanted but we know that they are up in heaven with our savior and out nightmare of where they are and what is happening to them has been answered.”

The girls were last seen by their grandmother on July 13 when they left for a bike ride. The girls’ bicycles and a purse were found near Meyers Lake hours after they were reported missing.

A search of the 25-acre lake in July turned up nothing, and authorities said they believed the cousins were abducted.

“Cooperation with law enforcement is the key factor in discovering the whereabouts of Lyric and Elizabeth,” FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault said in July. “Unfortunately, in this case, law enforcement has not received total cooperation from all family and close friends,” she said.

Abben said the investigation is ongoing, and he thanked the public and the media for their assistance and support in the case. Read more on KCRG

– CNN’s John Fricke and Tina Burnside contributed to this report