Hundreds of volunteers and police officials are conducting extensive searches in Evansdale, Iowa, for cousins Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook, 10, who have been missing since Friday after heading out on a bike ride. NBC's Kevin Tibbles reports.
The families of two missing Iowa girls said Tuesday they fear the girls may have been abducted, even as authorities continued to drain a lake in hopes of finding them.
Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook, 10, left their grandmother's house in Evansdale, Iowa, for a bike ride last Friday afternoon around 12:15 p.m. Their bikes and one of their purses were found later Friday along a nature trail by Meyers Lake, on the outskirts of town, but the girls had vanished, NBC's Kevin Tibbles reported.
Hundreds of volunteers pored through cornfields and officials searched the area by land and air, but no clues were found. Officials started draining the lake on Monday.
"It is our opinion that we should be 100 percent sure, and in order to be 100 percent sure, we're going to have to drain that lake," Captain Rick Abben of the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office said at a press conference Monday.
It could take two full days to drain the lake, NBC reported. Drought conditions may assist with emptying it faster. The Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office did not immediately return a phone call from NBCNews.com on Tuesday morning.
On Monday night, Evansdale residents packed a local church to hold a vigil.
"It's very difficult, but we're trusting in the Lord and just trying to be patient and let everybody do their job, and we're doing a lot of praying," Misty Cook-Morrissey, Lyric's mother, told reporters.
There's no evidence of foul play, and family members have been cooperative, officials said, reported KWWL.com in Iowa.
"I have hope because of the Lord's great love," Heather Collins, Elizabeth's mother, said at the vigil.
Fears of kidnapping
On Tuesday, Collins told ABC News' "Good Morning America" she believed the girls had been kidnapped, and asked for their safe return.
"I want to say to them that my husband and I have forgiven them," she said. "God has forgiven them already. So we have forgiven them and we just want our children back safe and sound. That's all we want. We don't even want to know who the person is."
Wylma Cook, the girls' grandmother, added, "Whoever has them, just turn them in, let them loose anywhere so they can call me. Lyric knows my cell phone, she knows my house phone."
Evansdale, a town of 4,500, is located in northeastern Iowa, about 100 miles northeast of Des Moines.
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