July 25, 2012 — -- Authorities in Iowa investigating the disappearance of 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins and her 10-year-old cousin, Lyric Cook, have obtained new video of the missing girls from the day they vanished 12 days ago.
Although the girls only look like a blur as they cross the frame on their bicycles in the video, and the footage of the two girls lasts only seconds, investigators say they now are analyzing it for any clues that could lead to information about the girls whose bicycles were later recovered on a trail by nearby Meyers Lake in Evansdale, Iowa.
"It looked kind of grainy, I mean just zoom they were by the thing and so it's very hard to really make much out of the thing," Black Hawk County Chief Deputy Rick Abben said. "The girls were less than a block from the house when this camera captured them riding by, important to note they were riding away from Meyers Lake."
The video also matches the police timeline. Investigators say the girls left the home to ride their bikes shortly after noon July 13. The camera's clock shows it was 12:11 p.m. when they rode by.
Both of their bicycles were recovered on a trial near the lake about four hours after they were reported missing, after they left for a neighborhood bike ride and haven't been seen since.
The surveillance camera belongs to a local auction house. With few clues in the investigation, the house's manager. Joe Pahl. thought to look for the video and turned it over to the FBI.
"Anything we can do to help," Pahl said. "We want to see the girls come back safe and alive."
Authorities reclassified the case as an abduction Friday. FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault said Monday that investigators believe the two girls are alive, although she would not offer any details to explain their confidence. The optimism in this small northeast Iowa town, she noted, was inspiring.
"If hope alone can bring them home, they'll come home," Breault said.
Misty Morrissey and husband Dan, the separated parents of Lyric, had stopped answering investigators' questions on the advice of their attorney late last week, although Misty submitted to a second polygraph test Tuesday.
The move came as the pair bristled under intense scrutiny because of their criminal histories. Both of them have been convicted of felony drug charges and served time behind bars.
A $50,000 reward is now being offered for information that would lead to their being found.