The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

July 8, 2013

Slain cousins case frustrates as anniversary nears

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) — Nearly a year after two Iowa cousins were abducted and killed, family members and police remain frustrated by the investigation's slow progress.

Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook, 10, disappeared July 13, 2012, after riding their bikes near Meyer's Lake in Evansdale. Investigators from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and FBI are trying to determine what happened to the girls, who were found dead in December.

Drew and Heather Collins told the Des Moines Register ( ) the pain of losing their daughter remains fresh a year later.

"It's never over," Drew Collins said. "Even a year later, it's not over, and I don't think it's ever going to be over. You're hit with something so devastating your life is never going to be the same."

The Collinses have devoted themselves to causes related to the girls' deaths, including lobbying state officials to approve tougher penalties for sex offenses.

Becoming activists has been a new experience for the couple, but they are driven to make sure other families don't have to endure the same pain.

"Most people don't get into what we're doing now unless (they) have had something tragic happen to them," Heather Collins said. "You have to try to do all that you can to make it better for the next person, as hard as it is to be doing what you're doing."

Drew Collins said he struggles to stay focused on the family tree-trimming business at times.

The Collins said they're also trying to help their son Kelly, 14, and daughters Amber, 7, and Callie, 5, cope with the loss of their sister.

The girls' abduction has strained relationships among the extended family.

Lyric's mother, Misty Cook, has not commented publicly since the girls' bodies were found last December. Heather Collins said her relationship with Misty Cook wasn't the best beforehand, so there's little to go on now.

Text Only
AP Iowa
  • Bank donates 19th-century home to nonprofit DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A bank has donated a 19th-century brick home in Iowa to a nonprofit in hopes they can find someone to buy and fix it up. The Quad-City Times reports ( ) the vacant home has been donated by Wells Fargo bank

    July 21, 2014

  • Dangerous heat expected in Nebraska and Iowa OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Some of the most intense heat of the summer so far is expected in Nebraska and Iowa, so forecasters are urging people to take precautions. The National Weather Service has issued heat advisories for the eastern half of Nebraska and

    July 21, 2014

  • Police: Four in custody, one injured in Iowa shootings CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Police say one person is hospitalized and four are in custody following two separate shootings in Cedar Rapids. The first shooting was reported just before 5 p.m. Sunday and led to Cedar Rapids police taking four people into

    July 21, 2014

  • Iowa man recovering from 40-foot fall from tree CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa tree service owner is recovering after falling about 40 feet from a tree. Kevin Hardy was harnessed and wearing a helmet when he fell out of a tree in Charles City, Iowa, on Friday. He was air-lifted to the St. Marys

    July 21, 2014

  • Iowa police: Car chase ends with no major injuries DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A police chase through oncoming traffic in central Iowa has ended with no major injuries. A Polk County Sheriff's office spokeswoman says the driver was apprehended in the northwest part of the county Sunday evening. She says

    July 21, 2014

  • SD woman recognized for role in baseball history YANKTON, S.D. (AP) — A woman recognized as baseball's first female professional umpire has been inducted into the Yankton College Alumni Hall of Fame. Amanda Clement was only 16 when she was paid to umpire a semipro game in Hawarden, Iowa, in 1904 wh

    July 21, 2014

  • Fatal crash ends West Des Moines motorcycle chase WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A motorcyclist being chased by West Des Moines police has died after running into a sport utility vehicle. Des Moines television station KCCI says ( ) the accident occurred around 11 p.m. Wednesday. A

    July 17, 2014

  • Iowa man charged with murder in Burlington death BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — A Fort Madison man has been formally charged with first-degree murder in the June death of a Burlington man. Lt. Jeff Klein with the Burlington Police Department says the recent charge for 42-year-old Lenard Polhans came after

    July 17, 2014

  • Officials approve disincorporation of Millville MILLVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Officials have approved the disincorporation of a tiny city in northeast Iowa. The state's City Development Board recently approved the disincorporation of Millville, a community along the Mississippi River with about 20 reside

    July 17, 2014

  • Iowa fines Clinton doctor for billing practice DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa board has fined a Clinton doctor for requiring cash payments from poor patients instead of billing Medicaid to treat their addictions to narcotics. The Des Moines Register says ( ) Dr. Oduah Osar

    July 17, 2014

AP National