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Bodies found believed to be Iowa girls who went missing in July

Black Hawk County Sheriff

Elizabeth Collins, left, and Lyric Cook went missing in Evansdale, Iowa, last July.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET: Two bodies found Wednesday appear to be the remains of cousins who disappeared last July in Evansdale, Iowa, police said Wednesday.

Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook disappeared on July 13 shortly after they left their grandmother's house. Collins was 8 years old and Cook was 10 at the time of their disappearance.

Hunters found the bodies in a wooded area, Capt. Rick Abben of the Black Hawk County Sheriff's office said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.

The girls' families had been notified, he said, but positive identification of the bodies will be determined by the state medical examiner.

"It's definitely not the outcome that we wanted, obviously," Abben told reporters, according to The Associated Press. "This is a difficult thing for us to go through. It's a difficult thing for the community."

Abben did not say if police had a suspect in the case, but said another news conference would be held Thursday.

The girls' bikes and a purse were initially found near Lake Meyer, prompting investigators to send in divers with sonar.

When no signs of the girls were found at the lake, officials reclassified the case as an abduction.

"Now that it's an abduction, everyone's a suspect," Abben said at the time, adding that investigators had recovered some evidence and sent it to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation for analysis. He declined to say what the evidence was or where it was found.

Police had offered a $50,000 reward for information to help find the girls. Last week, an anonymous donor also pledged a $100,000 reward for information, the AP reported.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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