You may know a little bit about this case, but if you don’t, here’s some basic info: the two girls (Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook) were cousins. They disappeared on July 13, 2012. Their bodies were (sadly) discovered on December 5, 2012. Here’s the distance between disappearance (Meyers Lake) and where they were found (Seven Bridges Wildlife Area):
Just recently, there’s been a dedicated website launched for this case, which remains unsolved. Here’s a direct link to the website.
They brought in the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (that’s what you see on Criminal Minds) to do some suspect profiling in this case, and the bigger takeaway is fairly logical: likely a local person who knows the area well, and likely used “quiet coercion” to get the girls to go with him (her?) on the initial abduction.
Couple of key points:
- For most of the time they’ve been missing, Michael Klunder was a primary suspect. He was ultimately ruled out.
- Lyric Cook’s father has some criminal history — predominantly drugs, but some domestic abuse charges as well.
- Lyric Cook’s mother wasn’t a saint either — she has some meth convictions in her background.
- All that said, the parents — Dan and Misty — are not considered suspects; the backgrounds were checked in terms of previous associates.
- Right where the girls’ bikes were found when they disappeared, there were sighting of a box-type white SUV (Ford Bronco, Chevy Suburban).
- There is video of the day they disappeared, although it isn’t a ton of information.
- No information about their bodies / cause of death was released, likely to create a “something only the killer would know” situation.
- The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has an agent assigned to the case full-time.
- It seems only logical that the abductor / murderer had a vehicle given the area, and may have had a legitimate reason to be in the area on July 13, 2012.
If you tie everything together on this case, the most likely scenarios are:
- Something to do with Lyric’s parents — they have shady backgrounds and they’re still getting popped for drugs two years later. There could be a tie there.
- “Crime of opportunity” situation — somewhat similar to the sad, ultimate resolution in the Jenise Wright case.
- Someone they knew — most abductions/murders involve someone at least 1-2 degrees known to the victims, and that could be the case here as well. Perhaps someone knew their movements.
There’s a fairly big gap in time between mid-July and early-December, just in general, and since the public doesn’t have information about the bodies or their conditions, you need to wonder about the timeline here. Was there a captivity element, or was the murder done within a few hours of the abduction and it just took the bodies longer to be discovered? Obviously if there was some type of captivity element, you’re looking for a different type of person — it’s one thing to kill a person within a few hours if you’re a psychopath, but it’s quite another to keep them locked up, etc. (Plus, you need more physical space, and likely in a semi-remote area.)
Hoping that new website leads to some closure here — it seems like this is a case that, even two years out, could be solved.