(EVANSDALE, Iowa) — On the morning of Friday, July 13, Elizabeth Collins, 8, woke up around 6 a.m. when her father Drew left for work and she quickly hopped into her mother Heather’s bed.
“She was like, ‘It’s mommy and Elizabeth time,'” Heather Collins said Tuesday in an interview with ABC News. The two soon fell back asleep holding one another.
Early that afternoon, Elizabeth was gone, vanished with hardly a trace after she and her 10-year old cousin, Lyric Cook, went for a bike ride. Although their bikes and a purse were soon found at Meyers Lake, officials in Evansdale, Iowa, have spent five days searching for the girls but come up empty-handed.
When asked Tuesday morning whether the investigation was stalled, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Chief Deputy Rick Abben said, “We are. We have nothing more.” Abben confirmed bloodhounds brought in by the FBI picked up the girls’ scent near the trail where their bicycles were found, but he would not elaborate.
The wait for answers is taking its toll on the girls’ families.
“When is this nightmare going to end?” Heather Collins sighed. “I want to wake up to a dream with my daughter there so she can crawl back in her bed.”
Lyric’s parents are finding the ongoing search just as agonizing.
“It’s frustrating not to know. It’s frustrating not to be able to put some pieces and some clues together,” Misty Morrissey, Lyric’s mom, said. “We talk to a lot of people. We walk around. We search. I mean, we’ve been in the woods getting dirty, sweaty, scratched up, so we’ve done a lot of that and that helps to fill the time.”
Both sets of parents are convinced the girls have been abducted. “They were taken, they’re not here,” Heather Collins said.
Now, the families are relying on their faith to see them through this trying time.
“I try not to think the worst. I just pray. If something comes in my mind that I know God would not want in my mind, I just pray and God eases me, puts a peace over me. That’s what I do,” Heather Collins said. “When I’m starting to get upset, I just pray. I just pray.”
Authorities dragged the lake earlier this week, but are now draining it entirely to be completely sure that the girls are not in it. Abben said on Monday the process could take up to three days, but may be done more quickly due to the recent drought.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Dan Berman, CNN
Steve Almasy, CNN
Boris Sanchez, Ralph Ellis, Joe Sutton and Azadeh Ansari, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com