The Murders of Lyric Morrisey and Elizabeth Collins
July 3, 2012 was a day that forever changed the lives of the Morrisey and Collins families. This was the day that 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins and her 10 year-old cousin, Lyric Morrisey disappeared.
Lyric Morrisey was a very active young lady. She was being raised in Evansdale, Iowa most of the time by her grandmother, Wylma, and her aunts. While Lyric had as much of a normal childhood as she could, it was entangled with her parents being in and out of the picture due to their drug addictions. Despite these challenges, Lyric was still a kid doing her best. She loved the band, One Direction, and the outdoors.
Elizabeth Collins was the younger of the two girls. She was said to be shy with a few exceptions. She was rambunctious when playing hockey, softball and around her friends. That is when this shy girl talked... a lot. Elizabeth also had great love for animals.
July 3, 2012
Around noon that summer day, the girls got on their bikes and told their grandma Wylma goodbye. The girls were seen by neighbors around Gilbert Drive between 12:30-1;00 pm. They were seen again around Lake Avenue which is an area that is popular for fishing and close to Meyers Lake. About an hour after the girls had left, Wylma became concerned but it wasn't until around 2 that the searches began after Lyric's mom arrive to pick her up.
The family immediately gathered friends and family and began to quickly search playgrounds and similar areas they thought the girls might be. Once they searched those areas with no sign of the girls, the called the police to report them missing. This is when more searchers are called in and the police begin to organize searches for Elizabeth and Lyric. They began to search the trails around Meyers Lake. It was there on a trail on the southeast side of the lake that the girls bikes and Elizabeth's purse were discovered. The searches continued for days... then weeks... then for five long months.
During this time, the media began to focus on the girls family. Due to Lyric's dad's pending court cases, charges and connections it was widely rumored that he had a connection to whoever took the girls. This rumor was dispelled by the police A surveillance video of the girls from a local auction barn was also discovered but it was so short that it did not provide anything other than the sighting of them.
On December 5, 2012, some hunters in the Seven Bridges Wildlife Park came across two human skeletons. They called police to the scene and five days later it was confirmed. The bodies found in the woods belonged to Lyric Morrisey and Elizabeth Collins.
Police have kept many, many details of this case close to their chest including the girls cause of death. What they have releases is a profile of the killer or killers. According to Iowa Cold Cases, it reads as follows:
- The offender is familiar with both Meyers Lake/Angels Park in Evansdale and Seven Bridges Wildlife Area in Bremer County;
- The suspect chose Seven Bridges because he or she was familiar with the area and knew it was secluded;
- The offender blends in with and may be part of the Evansdale, Bremer and surrounding communities;
- The suspect likely used “quiet coercion” to gain the girls’ compliance into leaving Meyers Lake, using a ruse or threats of violence, and that other possible characteristics include:
- The suspect may have been experiencing stress related to legal troubles, spousal problems, employment difficulties, financial strain or mental health issues in July 2012;
- The suspect may avoid discussing the case or showing interest in the matter but is likely following developments in the media;
- The offender may have attempted to abduct children or adults in the past;
- Following the disappearance, the suspect may have altered his or her physical appearance, such as changing hair style and facial hair. The offender’s vehicle may also have been altered with a new paint job or re-upholstery.
Connections to Delphi?
Due to the similarities between the murders in Evansdale to the murders in Delphi, Indiana, many people wondered if the cases were connected. Could the same person have committed these murders hundreds of miles and months apart? However, Indiana State Police have publicly stated that they have made contact with Evansdale PD and said that there are no connections between the two cases.
By 2017, Evansdale Police Department has stated that two people have confessed to the murders but both were dismissed after not being able to provide crucial information related to the murders.
Although, almost 10 years have passed, this case is still very active with weekly meetings taking place. Tips are not coming in as much but local authorities are determined to close this case.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Morrisey, please call the Evansdale Police Department at 319-232-6682 or Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at 855-300-8477.