The parents of Lyric Cook-Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins, two young Iowa cousins missing for four months, have issued an open letter to whomever is responsible for the disappearance of their children.
The letter was published Tuesday in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. It reads:
To Whom it May Concern:
We would use your name, but we don't know who you are. Or maybe we do? Maybe you are someone who knows the girls? Maybe you are someone who just acted upon an impulse? Maybe you planned to take them? We don't know, because we don't know who you are.
But we can sort of imagine that you must not have had the things you needed to grow up feeling safe and loved. Because only someone who hurts inside would hurt another person and their family. We've all heard the saying, "Hurt people, hurt people." We believe that is true.
We are so sorry for whatever happened to you, when you were growing up. Certainly, all children do not receive all the love and care they deserve. Some are even abused by those who are supposed to have taken care of them. When that happens, it is very wrong.
Taking the girls from us has caused much pain, pain for them, pain for us and our families. Since the time you took them, maybe you've wondered more than a few times, how you could ever make it right. How to be a hero, not a monster. Things probably look pretty hopeless for a good outcome.
We want you to know that we are praying for you to do the right thing. By releasing the girls, everyone wins. Even you. The person who took them.
Imagine how it will feel to have everyone remember that you were the one person, in all the missing children cases, the one person who cared enough to let the girls go! You will not be remembered as the one who took the girls, but as the one who let them come home.
Our lives have not been the same since July 13. Please, let our girls come home to us.
Do the right thing. Be a hero.
Drew and Heather Collins
Dan and Misty Morrissey-Cook
Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, of Waterloo and her 8-year-old cousin Elizabeth Collins of Evansdale were last seen July 13, when they left their grandmother's Evansdale home on a bike ride. The girls' bikes and one of their purses were found later that day on a nature trail that runs along Meyers Lake. Despite multiple large-scale searches, the girls' whereabouts remain a mystery.
Investigators suspect the girl's were kidnapped, but have not found any evidence suggesting where they might be held. According to the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office, investigators continue to receive tips and are following up on leads.
Also on Tuesday, the girls' family members and dozens of friends and supporters gathered at Countryside Vineyard Church in Evansdale for a prayer vigil to mark four months since Lyric and Elizabeth went missing.
Elizabeth is described as a white female, 4 feet 1 inch tall, 65 pounds, with sandy hair and blue eyes. Lyric is white, 4 feet 11 inches tall, 145 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information on the girls' whereabouts is asked to call the tip line at (319) 232-6682 or 1-800-346-5507. Tips can also be emailed to OurMissingIowaGirls@dps.state.ia.us.