TIMELINE: Search for girls reported missing in Evansdale

Information from notes kept by Evansdale police, fire chief

Jeff Reinitz
Published: December 10 2012 | 8:10 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 3:11 am in
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Within minutes of authorities learning of the disappearance of Lyric Cook Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins, three Evansdale squad cars were scouring the area and checking the home. Within half an hour, the search mushroomed with four Black Hawk sheriff’s deputies and Evansdale firefighters joining the effort.

Below is a timeline of the search for the missing cousins progressed based on notes kept by Kent Smock, who doubles as Evansdale’s police and fire chiefs. He said some information about specific leads was redacted from notes because of the ongoing investigation.

Timeline

Friday, July 13, 2012

  • 2:48 p.m., Cousins Lyric Cook Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins are reported missing.
  • 2:50 p.m., Evansdale police search the home and the area using three squad cars.
  • 3:15 p.m., Black Hawk sheriff’s office sends four cars to help. Fire department requested to help and uses a Gator to check bike trails.
  • 4 p.m., Firefighters find the girls’ bike at Meyers Lake.
  • 4:30 p.m., Girls names are entered into the National Crime Information Center, a nationwide FBI database that includes missing persons.
  • 4:30 p.m., Fire department begins dragging Meyers Lake.
  • 4:40 p.m., County Emergency Management Agency notified and begins Everbridge automated messages to phones in the area to alert residents.
  • 5 p.m., Canvas of lake neighborhood beings.
  • 5:30 p.m., Officer meets with Collins to obtain photos of the girls.
  • 5:30 p.m., Media notified of the disappearance.
  • 5:30 p.m., Divers with cedar Valley Underwater Search and Rescue, a local team of volunteers, to help search the lake.
  • 6:30 p.m., Law enforcement and civilians conduct search of wooded areas. This continues to about 3:30 a.m. the following day.
  • 7 p.m., Iowa State Patrol airplane if forward-looking infrared joins the search. Authorities begin interviewing local people listed on the state Sex Offender Registry.
  • 8 p.m., Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children notified. FBI brought in. STAR-1, an Iowa search and rescue group is contacted.
  • 8:30 p.m., NCMEC begins emailing and faxing photos and descriptions of the girls to truck stops, stores and public places within a 100 mile radius of Evansdale.

Saturday, July 14

  • 7 a.m., DCI and FBI arrive and begin interviews. Civilian searches of the area resume until 7:30 p.m. NCMEC sends an advisor and prepares posters.
  • 8 a.m., Law enforcement continues canvas of neighborhood. Parents cell phones and computers taken for examination, FBI’s Child Abduction Response Team is deployed, remains until July 20.
  • 8 a.m., STAR-1 sends cadaver dogs to the lake.
  • 8 a.m., Law enforcement begins locating and interviewing registered sex offenders.
  • 10 a.m., Press briefings begin and continue on a daily basis.
  • 10:30 a.m., Divers called back to search new areas of Meyers Lake.
  • 4 p.m., Afternoon press briefing.
  • 5 p.m., Iowa State Patrol plane with LFIR returns.
  • 8 p.m., Law enforcement begins searching area Dumpsters, continues until 5 a.m.
  • 10 p.m., Garbage hauling companies notified of dump locations in the landfill.

Sunday, July 15

  • Law Enforcement Command Post moves into Poyner School, remains there until Aug. 10. FBI brings in data management team, remains until Sept. 10.
  • 7 a.m., DCI and FBI resume interviews.
  • 7 a.m., Civilian search resumes and continues until 7:30 p.m. STAR-1 searches continue.
  • 7 a.m., Interviews and polygraphs conducted.
  • 8 a.m., DCI, FBI and local police continue neighborhood canvas.
  • 8 a.m., Computers and cell phones taken for examination.
  • 8 a.m., Law enforcement continue with sex offender interviews.
  • 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Press briefings.
  • 9 p.m., Searches of area Dumpters resumes, continues until 5 a.m.
  • Monday, July 16
  • 5 a.m., Law enforcement accompanies trash haulers picking up commercial trash.
  • 6:30 a.m., Landfill is asked to set aside special area for Evansdale trash for two weeks.
  • 7 a.m., Interviews and polygraphs continue.
  • 8 a.m., DCI team brought in to locate and interview registered sex offenders.
  • 10 a.m., and 4 p.m., Press briefings.
  • 11 a.m., Draining started at Meyers Lake.
  • 4 p.m., FBI bloodhounds requested.
  • Tuesday, July 17
  • 5 a.m., Law enforcement accompanies trash haulers picking up commercial trash.
  • 7 a.m., Interviews and polygraphs continue.
  • 8 a.m., Law enforcement teams search specific areas. DCI team continues with sex offenders.
  • 9 a.m. Sewer lines examined with TV cameras.
  • 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Press briefings.
  • 8 p.m., FBI bloodhounds search the area.

Wednesday, July 18

  • 5 a.m., Commercial trash collection continues.
  • 7 a.m., Interviews and polygraphs continue.
  • 8 a.m., Law enforcement teams search specific areas. DCI team continues with sex offenders.
  • 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Press briefings.
  • 4 p.m., FBI dive team with sonar confirmed to search Meyers Lake.

Thursday, July 19

  • 7 a.m., Interviews and polygraphs continue.
  • 8 a.m., DCI team continues with sex offenders.
  • 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Press briefing.
  • 5 p.m., Lake draining ceases.

Friday, July 20

  • 7 a.m., Interviews and polygraphs continue.
  • 7 a.m., FBI dive team examines Meyers Lake.
  • 8 a.m., Law enforcement searches specific areas within 15 radius.
  • 8 a.m., DCI team continues with sex offenders.
  • 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Press briefings.
  • Noon, Vehicle checkpoints.
  • 5 p.m., Focus turns fully to abduction as other causes were eliminated.

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