Missing Iowa Girl’s Dad Feels ‘Like a Suspect’


8-year-old Elizabeth Collins (L) and her cousin, 10-year-old Lyric Cook (R). (ABC News)(EVANSDALE, Iowa) — With frustrations building amid six days of searching for a pair of missing girls in Iowa, the father of one of the missing cousins has voiced displeasure with police and said he feels as if he’s being treated like a suspect.

His comments came as police, the FBI and local residents helped search for the missing girls, Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook, 10.  In addition, authorities continued to drain a lake near where the girls’ bikes were found and their scents were picked up by bloodhounds, and officials said they were segregating trash from Evansdale to aid the investigation.

The families of the missing girls “are still continuing to cooperate with us, as we would expect,” Rick Abben, a spokesman for the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, told reporters on Wednesday.

However, Daniel Morrissey, Cook’s father, has voiced his frustration with police to a local news outlet.

“You tell them the truth and they say, ‘You’re holding something back,’ and you’re not.  What is left to talk about?  You know, we go over and over and over again,” he told KCCI Des Moines on Tuesday.  “It made me feel like, ‘Yeah, they’re looking at me like a suspect.'”

Morrissey told ABC News on Tuesday that he is trying to keep his displeasure in check.

“I’ll tell you something about emotions,” Morrissey said.  “A lot of people base their decisions off emotions and it doesn’t work out too well — they’re angry, they make a bad decision, whatever.

“So emotions, I try to keep control of and keep my head straight,” he added.  “During this time, it’s definitely challenging, but I have to keep my mind right.”

Abben suggested police are just doing their jobs.

“I haven’t talked to Mr. Morrissey,” he told reporters.  “I don’t know why he feels that way.  We expect cooperation from everyone — 100 percent cooperation.  So I don’t know why he feels that way.”

Daniel Morrissey’s wife, Misty Morrissey, told ABC News on Wednesday that the two of them have fully complied with authorities’ requests.

“We’ve done extensive interviews, hours at a time, we’ve done polygraphs, we have taken many phone calls, answered many questions,” she said.  “We’ve given our phones up, all of our data has been, you know, taken off of our phones.  In fact, my sister[‘s] and my phone is now not, our touch screens aren’t working very well.  So we’ve cooperated to the fullest.”

Other residents of the small Iowa town also have been pitching in on the search for the two young cousins who disappeared last Friday.

“You just desperately want them to be found at this point,” Mayor Chad Deutsch, whose son attends school with one of the missing girls, told ABC News on Wednesday.  “You think of all the bad things and, you know, at some point you just get desperate and you want to find them.  I mean, the more time and things that go by, the more thoughts that go through your head and the worse the pit in your stomach [becomes].”

Deutsch has taken to the skies using his personal plane to chip in with the search effort but, thus far, just like the authorities there, he has come up empty-handed.

“It’s super frustrating,” he said.

With the draining of Meyers Lake — where the girls’ bikes were found last Friday afternoon — taking longer than anticipated, the FBI on Wednesday launched a dive team from Los Angeles to help.  The team is expected to arrive on Thursday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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