Entries in Identification (3)


Bodies Found Confirmed to Be Missing Iowa Cousins

FBI(EVANSDALE, Iowa) -- The two bodies found by hunters in Iowa last week are those of missing cousins Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins, the state’s medical examiner’s office confirmed Monday.

The Evansdale Police Department has notified the girls’ families, according to a release by the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office. The confirmation was expected after comments last week by the police and Elizabeth’s family.

After the bodies were found by hunters in the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area in the northeastern part of the state, authorities said Wednesday they were “confident” that they had found the remains of Lyric, 11, and Elizabeth, 9.

The two girls went missing on a mid-day bike ride in July. Late Wednesday, Elizabeth’s mother Heather Collins said in a statement posted on her Facebook page that the family was aware that there were two possible outcomes and “unfortunately this is not the one that we wanted.”

The sad news comes nearly five months after the girls’ disappearance.

The two were last seen on a bike ride in the small town of Evansdale just after noon on July 13. While their bicycles and a purse were found that day by Meyers Lake, near the center of town, the search for the girls dragged on and on with no result. In the following week, authorities drained the lake and canvassed the area, but to no avail.

The Seven Bridges Wildlife Area where the bodies were found is about 25 miles from Evansdale.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins: Bodies Believed to Be Missing Iowa Cousins

ABC News(EVANSDALE, Iowa) -- Authorities believe two bodies found by hunters in Iowa this week are Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins, two young cousins who vanished in July.

"At this time, law enforcement is confident, based upon evidence at the scene and preliminary investigation, that the bodies are those of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins," Capt. Rick Abben, chief deputy of the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office, said at a news conference in Evansdale, Iowa.

Asked why authorities were so confident that the bodies were those of the two girls, Abben replied, "We have no one else that's missing in this area. We have two bodies that were found. They were smaller in stature so we have nothing else to think, at this time."

Abben noted that the state's medical examiner's office in Ankeny, Iowa, had yet to complete the positive identification of the girls.

Asked if the kidnapping investigation was now turning into a homicide investigation, Abben replied, "We are looking that way at this time."

Lyric, 11, and Elizabeth, 9, went missing on July 13 on a bike ride in the small town of Evansdale, Iowa, near Waterloo, Iowa. After hunters found two bodies in a wooded area in Seven Bridges Conservation Area on Wednesday afternoon, the families of Lyric and Elizabeth were notified and the bodies were sent to Ankeny for positive identification.

The families expressed "their gratitude to the community for their ongoing support," according to a statement released by authorities. Elizabeth's mother, Heather Collins, later posted a message on her Facebook page.

"We knew when our girls went missing that [there] would be two outcomes," she wrote. "Unfortunately this is not the one that we wanted but we know our girls [are] dancing with our savior. We know that he will continue to be with us giving us strength and comfort always."

On Wednesday night, residents of Evansdale, Iowa, gathered at Meyers Lake -- where the girls' bicycles and a purse were found -- for a candlelight vigil.

"It's hard to believe," said Lorissa Wilson, who attended the vigil. "I didn't want it to happen to the girls. They're too young to pass away, I believe."

Mary Carroll, who knew Elizabeth, said, "You don't expect it for somebody so sweet and innocent."

Another participant at the vigil, Holly Timmerman, noted that this was "not the outcome anybody wanted at all."

The Seven Bridges Conservation Area will remain closed until Monday, Abben said.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Voter ID Laws Struck Down in Texas, Wisconsin

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Federal judges struck down two states’ voter ID laws Monday, throwing out government-issued identification requirements at the polls in both Texas and Wisconsin.

In Texas, the Justice Department ruled that the ID requirement would disproportionately affect the state’s Hispanic voters, 11 percent of which do not have the necessary identification and would thus not be able to vote.

The Wisconsin law, which went into effect last May, was struck down because, Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess wrote in his ruling, it would “impermissibly eliminate the right of suffrage altogether for certain constitutionally qualified electors.”

Proponents of both states’ voter ID laws argue that the identification requirement would help prevent voter fraud. Opponents note that there are extremely few documented cases of the types of voter fraud that ID laws would prevent and that such laws would prevent a significant number of eligible citizens from voting.

“Voter fraud is no more poisonous to our democracy than voter suppression,” Wisconsin’s Niess wrote. “Indeed, they are two heads on the monster.”

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is expected to appeal the decision later this week in an attempt to have the law reinstated before the state’s primary election April 3.

Texas has appealed the Obama administration’s injunction to the U.S. District Court in Washington.

“The DOJ has no valid reason for rejecting this important law, which requires nothing more extensive than the type of photo identification necessary to receive a library card or board an airplane,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry said in a statement.

The former presidential candidate said that the administration’s "denial is yet another example of the Obama administration’s continuing and pervasive federal overreach.”

Texas is the second state to see its voter ID law shot down by the Obama administration, after a similar law in South Carolina was struck down in December.

After Republicans swept state house elections in 2010, seven states enacted voter ID laws. The Justice Department’s injunctions against the Texas and South Carolina laws mark the first time in nearly 20 years that the government has rejected a state voter ID law, the Washington Post reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio