Iowans Gather to Pray for Families Who Lost Two Girls

More than 50 central Iowa residents gathered for a candlelight vigil Saturday night to mourn the loss of two Evansdale girls whose disappearance five months ago shook the state.

Pictured: Central Iowans recited Scripture and sang songs Saturday at a vigil in Des Moines for Lyric and Elizabeth. / Joel Aschbrenner/The Register
Most at the vigil said they didn't know Lyric Cook-Morrissey or Elizabeth Collins, but wanted to show support for their families and the Evansdale community.

"You don't have to know someone to have prayers and sympathy for them, especially when they've lost someone at such a young age," said Jollene Lowe, who attended with fellow members of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church.

Lyric, then 10, and Elizabeth, then 8, left for a bike ride in Evansdale on July 13 and were never seen again.

Across the state and beyond, people followed the search, hoping the girls would be returned home safe. Fears were confirmed Wednesday when hunters found two bodies that authorities said they are confident belong to the missing girls.

Gatherers recited Scripture, sang impromptu songs and provided fellowship at the vigil in Gray's Lake Park.

Vigil organizers Misty McGrean and Nicole Cunningham said that, as parents, they could only imagine if those were their daughters. Neither knew the Evansdale girls, but said they wanted to give Des Moines residents a chance to celebrate their lives.

"It hits really close to home," said McGrean, who has a daughter and stepson of her own. "This is our state. They may not have been our kids, but they were Iowa's kids."

SOURCE: The Des Moines Register
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