Mother of missing Evansdale girl says she passed second polygraph test

Investigators also want to talk to man seen paddleboating July 13, but not as a suspect

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March 31, 2014 | 10:06 pm

UPDATE: The mom of one of the two missing Iowa cousins says she went through a lengthy polygraph test that should prove that she had nothing to do with their disappearance.

Misty Cook-Morrissey said a state agent asked several questions during Monday's test about whether she had anything to do with the abduction of her daughter, 10-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey, and niece, 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins.

The girls disappeared July 13 while riding bikes near a lake in Evansdale. The FBI says investigators believe they were abducted but are alive.

Cook-Morrissey says she was told a polygraph test she took last week came back inconclusive but that she passed Monday's test. She says she made peace with investigators, who "can rule me out of their book."

FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault declined comment.

The girls were last seen around 12:15 p.m. on July 13, riding their bikes in Evansdale. Their bikes and a purse were later found near Meyers Lake, a popular fishing and recreation area in the northeastern Iowa city of about 4,700 residents. A search involving hundreds of local residents failed to find the girls, and an FBI dive team using sonar equipment concluded last week the girls were not in the lake. Investigators said over the weekend they have reason to believe the girls are alive, and they are treating the case as an abduction.

Breault also said Monday that investigators want to interview a person who was paddleboating on the lake around the time the girls disappeared. She said that person, who has not voluntarily come forward, could help investigators learn what happened to the girls, but was not considered a suspect.

"They believe that person has information," she said. "They really do need to talk with the person."

Black Hawk County Sheriff's Capt. Rick Abben said last week that investigators were examining "every aspect" of the criminal histories of Cook-Morrissey and her estranged husband, Dan Morrissey, so that they do not overlook any possible leads. He said they were not suspects in the disappearance. But he acknowledged authorities sought a judge's order last week requiring Morrissey to submit to supervision by parole agents while he awaits trial on charges of making and dealing methamphetamine that carry the prospect of decades in prison.

Brousseau said Morrissey also went through a second polygraph test over the weekend after initially declining to do so. Brousseau said the couple had been advised earlier to stop cooperating with police after consulting with Waterloo attorney Tom Frerichs. He said Monday he was not representing the couple but could not comment on whether he'd had any discussions with them.

Brousseau said Cook-Morrissey agreed to Monday's test on the condition that a family member she picked Morrissey be present in the room. The FBI also promised that she would not face any accusatory interrogation, Brousseau added.

Breault and Abben didn't immediately return phone messages seeking comment on the polygraph tests.

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