Hunters asked to look for signs of missing cousins - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Hunters asked to look for signs of missing cousins

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

A grassroots effort is encouraging hunters to keep an eye out for evidence of two missing cousins.

Investigators believe Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins were abducted in Evansdale more than three months ago. Now friends of the girls' families are asking hunting license vendors, like Hy-Vee in Waterloo, to remind hunters to watch for signs of the cousins.

"If we can help, by when we're telling people when they're out in the woods -- keep an eye out looking for them. We need to bring them home," said store director Chad Hartogh.

Iowa DNR Conservation Officer Chris Jones supports the effort. He was part of the initial search for Lyric and Elizabeth. Now, more than three months later, he knows investigators are exploring every avenue to uncover much-needed evidence.

"With what we've got going on right now, I think this is an excellent opportunity. A lot of the areas don't see anybody in there for a lot of the year. And then come fall, all the sudden they're getting flooded with hunters," said Jones.

Jones said, asking for help from hunters is actually pretty common. Many have hunted the same land for thirty, forty, fifty years, and they're going to notice if something is out of the ordinary.

"A lot of times, when we do have people go missing, it's the hunters who come forward because they know these woods. And so they'll be the ones who come out to form a search party," said Jones.

With turkey, pheasant, and goose seasons opening this month, you're encouraged to think of your hunting party as a search party. Take a second look around for signs of foul play, and ask your friends to do the same.

"Keep people's awareness up so they're keeping their eyes out for them, so we can get them home safely," Hartogh added.

Jones recommends you call the Missing Girls Tipline if something catches your attention: 319-232-6682. There is a $50,000 reward for information which leads them to the girls.

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