IA IA - Elizabeth Collins, 8, & Lyric Cook, 10, Evansdale, 13 July 2012 - #33

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otto

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In regards to searching the home and area I think they were looking for the girls on their bikes. That was almost an hour before the bikes were found. They could cover the entire Evansdale city limits with 3 squad cars in probably less than 30 minutes.

In hindsight of course we can easily say it wouldn't have mattered because of what was actually on the video. But at the time they didn't know that, and didn't even look.

What IF that video contained a video of the girls riding and a vehicle following slowly behind? Or the girls following a vehicle?

The family has stated that LE told them the girls were likely murdered within hours/a day of them being abducted.

Could it have made a difference? Absolutely. They would have a vehicle and possibly several people come forward as to who that person was in the vehicle.

Sadly, none of it matters now...I would have hoped they had absolutely no need to check out any videos because evidence led them elsewhere. But if that were the case, they wouldn't have any reason to release the video.

It was suggested that police did something wrong by not searching the area where the grandmother last saw the children. In fact, that area was searched first, so it is not a reason to criticize the investigation.

The video has been obtained and it did not lead to an arrest, so it doesn't really matter when the footage was examined. Nevertheless, it was examined as soon as police learned of it.

I still don't see any reason to criticize the investigation.
 

threecrazykids

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It was suggested that police did something wrong by not searching the area where the grandmother last saw the children. In fact, that area was searched first, so it is not a reason to criticize the investigation.

The video has been obtained and it did not lead to an arrest, so it doesn't really matter when the footage was examined. Nevertheless, it was examined as soon as police learned of it.

I still don't see any reason to criticize the investigation.

So, then I guess I've proven my point in the less than stellar police work. They "searched the area" and completely missed the camera??

Sure, it was examined once the video was placed in LE's hands. That isn't investigative work, that's the public providing information in hopes LE will be able to use it to their benefit.

If anyone gets credit for investigative work it is that of the concerned owner of the auction house who took the time to roll back footage and discover he did indeed capture the girls riding their bikes in the area...not LE.

Again...my opinion only.
 

otto

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So, then I guess I've proven my point in the less than stellar police work. They "searched the area" and completely missed the camera??

Sure, it was examined once the video was placed in LE's hands. That isn't investigative work, that's the public providing information in hopes LE will be able to use it to their benefit.

If anyone gets credit for investigative work it is that of the concerned owner of the auction house who took the time to roll back footage and discover he did indeed capture the girls riding their bikes in the area...not LE.

Again...my opinion only.

Police were looking for two children on bikes. They started by searching the area where they were last seen and moved outward from there. An hour later, they found the children's bikes, so they started searching that area ... near the water and in the water. Police cannot be criticized for not looking in the area where the children were last seen. That is in fact the first thing they did.

Do you really think that police should have been going door to door near the family home asking for video in the first couple of hours after the children were reported missing? Would that have been the best use of police resources?

Police appealed to the public for information by notifying the public through the media at 5:30 on Friday, July 13. Fortunately, the auction manager thought of the video camera at the back of the shop. Police get credit for asking the public for information about the children, and the auction manager gets a red star for responding to that request. Is that grounds to criticize police? Red Stars should also be given to people that reported seeing the children on Lake Avenue, near the entrance to the Maiden Lane parking lot and on Arbutus.
 

threecrazykids

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Police were looking for two children on bikes. They started by searching the area where they were last seen and moved outward from there. An hour later, they found the children's bikes, so they started searching that area ... near the water and in the water. Police cannot be criticized for not looking in the area where the children were last seen. That is in fact the first thing they did.

Do you really think that police should have been going door to door near the family home asking for video in the first couple of hours after the children were reported missing? Would that have been the best use of police resources?

Police appealed to the public for information by notifying the public through the media at 5:30 on Friday, July 13. Fortunately, the auction manager thought of the video camera at the back of the shop. Police get credit for asking the public for information about the children, and the auction manager gets a red star for responding to that request. Is that grounds to criticize police? Red Stars should also be given to people that reported seeing the children on Lake Avenue, near the entrance to the Maiden Lane parking lot and on Arbutus.

I don't disagree that in those first few hours they did search the immediate area where the bikes were found. And it made sense.

I just felt a little compelled by Abben's statement almost immediately when he said "just because the girls bikes were there doesn't necessarily mean the girls were here - we have the bikes but no sign of the girls". Even he stated as much that there was a possibility the bikes could have been planted.

But, I guess I have to assume that they had been notified immediately that people in the area had not only seen the girls that day making it safe to the lake, but that it was common that they went there unattended - otherwise I would have hoped that they considered that someone could have abducted them closer to the house and/or lured them to the lake.

But I suppose LE releasing the information (more than likely the same people who saw the girls) about the vague white vehicle a year later may produce some new leads.

It's just these small things I've read between the lines on. Non existent issues I'm sure, that I probably shouldn't let bother me...but it does.

I am one of the people you speak of who are curious, nosy, and are driven crazy by the lack of information released. And that isn't helping bring these girls killer to justice. Patience isn't one of my best qualities...but I'm dang good at getting frustrated at situations I am not in control of! :blushing:
 

Grainne Dhu

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If police knew that Klunder was responsible for the murders of Elizabeth and Lyric, they would have announced that the case was closed. It's not closed, so apparently it was not possible to connect the murders of Lyric and Elizabeth with Klunder.

I can't stop thinking of the other possibility: LE can't rule Klunder out and they can't rule him in, either.

For instance, assuming Klunder had a cell phone, maybe the pings from that cell phone showed that it was at his residence or place of work during the critical time period. That doesn't prove or disprove anything because with all those crime shows on TV, many people know that the movements of a cell phone can be traced.

Again, assuming Klunder had a cell phone, if the ping records indicate that the battery had been removed from the phone or was completely drained during the critical time period, that would be a little more suspicious but not enough to solve the case. Sometimes the cell phone does run out of juice.

And maybe Klunder didn't have a cell phone at all.

I was reading about a case from a few years ago where a woman disappeared and the car she was in was found pulled off on the shoulder with the engine running, headlights on and one door open. Police were able to nail down a window of about 15 minutes during which the car had been left by the road but they kept the exact time period a secret.

The car actually belonged to her boyfriend, who couldn't provide a good alibi. He'd been out and about during the time leading up to the car being found (the time it was found had been published in the media) and LE was unable to corroborate his whereabouts. He was helpful, in fact he was more than helpful. He was so cooperative and helpful that LE started to wonder if he was attempting to inject himself into the investigation. He was the main spokesperson for the family in her disappearance and kept making media appearances to plead for information leading to her whereabouts. Very emotional pleas.

Then LE found out from her friends and family that he'd only been dating her for about a month. He never really lied about the length of the relationship (they'd known each other as friends for quite a long time before starting to date) but his statements to the police and media really seemed to imply that they had been a couple for much longer than just a month. LE also found out that he'd been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility some years previously.

After a period of months, her body was found. The only DNA they could get from her body was very degraded and it neither matched the boyfriend nor did it rule him out.

If I'd been working that case, I would have been beating my head on the wall in frustration. All those red flags but no way to rule him out or exclude him.

Matters might have stayed like that for years but the boyfriend finally remembered something that made the difference. He remembered that he'd gone into his bank to make a cash withdrawal the day she disappeared. Sure enough, there he was in the bank's records and on their surveillance videos, an hour away from where the car was left during the exact 15 minutes when it was left.

The case was finally solved. It turned out to be her ex-husband's parents in collusion with her ex-husband. The parents shot and killed her during an argument, then her ex-husband helped them cover up the crime.

Why didn't the boyfriend mention the bank stop earlier? He'd simply forgotten it in the stress of subsequent events.

I hope that there isn't anything like that happening with Elizabeth and Lyric's case but I'm beginning to wonder if maybe it is.
 

otto

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I don't disagree that in those first few hours they did search the immediate area where the bikes were found. And it made sense.

I just felt a little compelled by Abben's statement almost immediately when he said "just because the girls bikes were there doesn't necessarily mean the girls were here - we have the bikes but no sign of the girls". Even he stated as much that there was a possibility the bikes could have been planted.

But, I guess I have to assume that they had been notified immediately that people in the area had not only seen the girls that day making it safe to the lake, but that it was common that they went there unattended - otherwise I would have hoped that they considered that someone could have abducted them closer to the house and/or lured them to the lake.

But I suppose LE releasing the information (more than likely the same people who saw the girls) about the vague white vehicle a year later may produce some new leads.

It's just these small things I've read between the lines on. Non existent issues I'm sure, that I probably shouldn't let bother me...but it does.

I am one of the people you speak of who are curious, nosy, and are driven crazy by the lack of information released. And that isn't helping bring these girls killer to justice. Patience isn't one of my best qualities...but I'm dang good at getting frustrated at situations I am not in control of! :blushing:

I get it. We would all like a resolution to this case. At the same time, I don't see that investigators have make mistakes that changed the outcome. It strikes me as a very difficult case to solve.

The children were supposed to stay by the house, yet their bikes were found 1.5 miles away at the lake. The bikes were at the lake, but in a location that is secluded. The children's remains were found 20 miles away, again at a secluded location. The person that did this was careful to not get caught. Furthermore, the location of the bikes required that police focus their efforts at the lake until it could be ruled out that they were in the lake. There were many factors that enabled the perp extra time to cover his tracks.
 

otto

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I can't stop thinking of the other possibility: LE can't rule Klunder out and they can't rule him in, either.

For instance, assuming Klunder had a cell phone, maybe the pings from that cell phone showed that it was at his residence or place of work during the critical time period. That doesn't prove or disprove anything because with all those crime shows on TV, many people know that the movements of a cell phone can be traced.

Again, assuming Klunder had a cell phone, if the ping records indicate that the battery had been removed from the phone or was completely drained during the critical time period, that would be a little more suspicious but not enough to solve the case. Sometimes the cell phone does run out of juice.

And maybe Klunder didn't have a cell phone at all.

I was reading about a case from a few years ago where a woman disappeared and the car she was in was found pulled off on the shoulder with the engine running, headlights on and one door open. Police were able to nail down a window of about 15 minutes during which the car had been left by the road but they kept the exact time period a secret.

The car actually belonged to her boyfriend, who couldn't provide a good alibi. He'd been out and about during the time leading up to the car being found (the time it was found had been published in the media) and LE was unable to corroborate his whereabouts. He was helpful, in fact he was more than helpful. He was so cooperative and helpful that LE started to wonder if he was attempting to inject himself into the investigation. He was the main spokesperson for the family in her disappearance and kept making media appearances to plead for information leading to her whereabouts. Very emotional pleas.

Then LE found out from her friends and family that he'd only been dating her for about a month. He never really lied about the length of the relationship (they'd known each other as friends for quite a long time before starting to date) but his statements to the police and media really seemed to imply that they had been a couple for much longer than just a month. LE also found out that he'd been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility some years previously.

After a period of months, her body was found. The only DNA they could get from her body was very degraded and it neither matched the boyfriend nor did it rule him out.

If I'd been working that case, I would have been beating my head on the wall in frustration. All those red flags but no way to rule him out or exclude him.

Matters might have stayed like that for years but the boyfriend finally remembered something that made the difference. He remembered that he'd gone into his bank to make a cash withdrawal the day she disappeared. Sure enough, there he was in the bank's records and on their surveillance videos, an hour away from where the car was left during the exact 15 minutes when it was left.

The case was finally solved. It turned out to be her ex-husband's parents in collusion with her ex-husband. The parents shot and killed her during an argument, then her ex-husband helped them cover up the crime.

Why didn't the boyfriend mention the bank stop earlier? He'd simply forgotten it in the stress of subsequent events.

I hope that there isn't anything like that happening with Elizabeth and Lyric's case but I'm beginning to wonder if maybe it is.

I suppose that I'm looking at it in terms of whether Klunder can be held responsible. At this time, it does not look like he is responsible, so the case is still unsolved. The information about the white, boxy vehicle stopped near the entrance to Maiden Lane is helpful. If Klunder had access to that type of vehicle, police would know it. If Klunder took trophies, police would know it and if anything was missing from the children, police would be looking for those items in Klunder's possessions.

It seems to me that until such time that Klunder can be conclusively connected to the murders, police have to continue investigating.
 

Foxfire

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Quote: Otto (respectfully sniped for focus)
This took some effort, but here's the timeline. If the theory is that police did something wrong, based on the timeline below, what did they do wrong?

Friday, July 13, 2012

2:48 p.m., Cousins Lyric Cook Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins are reported missing.
2:50 p.m., Evansdale police search the home and the area using three squad cars.
3:15 p.m., Black Hawk sheriff’s office sends four cars to help. Fire department requested to help and uses a Gator to check bike trails.
4 p.m., Firefighters find the girls’ bike at Meyers Lake.
4:30 p.m., Girls' names are entered into the National Crime Information Center, a nationwide FBI database that includes missing persons.
4:30 p.m., Fire department begins dragging Meyers Lake.
4:40 p.m., County Emergency Management Agency notified and begins Everbridge automated messages to phones in the area to alert residents.
5 p.m., Canvas of lake neighborhood beings.
5:30 p.m., Officer meets with Collins to obtain photos of the girls.
5:30 p.m., Media notified of the disappearance.
<sniped-Read More>

Otto, thank you for the timeline and for your efforts..

As we all know, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Imo, when the tips was received about the boxlike SUV during canvassing. Priority should have been given to these tips. A red flag should have been immediately raised, imo..

Police re-canvass Evansdale for missing girls
October 18, 2012
Cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 11, and Elizabeth Collins, 9, disappeared July 13 while on a bike ride. Their bikes and Elizabeth&#8217;s purse and cell phone were found on a recreational trail along Meyers Lake. After an extensive search of homes and wooded areas and a partial draining of the lake over the following week that turned up nothing, authorities declared the case an abduction.

&#8220;Nothing was found the really stood out or was promising,&#8221; Smock said. &#8220;If we knew where they were at, we&#8217;d go knocking on that door. We&#8217;re still very hopeful; still very positive.&#8221;

Authorities visited between 125 to 150 homes. A rumor in town that air surveillance was ongoing is false, Smock said.

The decision was made two weeks ago to canvass the area again. Nothing in particular triggered the latest ground search, he said.

&#8220;We continue to dig for more information,&#8221; Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson said. &#8220;We continue to search for details that might have been overlooked.&#8221;

http://wcfcourier.com/news/evansdal...cle_2c659ab8-1914-11e2-8c55-001a4bcf887a.html
______________________________

While the number of sex offenders who abduct and kill children is low, those offenders &#8220;are the worst of the worst&#8221; who need to be feared and understood &#8211; and communities need to be ready with swift response to search for those kids when they are reported missing.

According to a study done in the state of Washington and with the U.S. Department of Justice, 44 percent of children will be dead in the first hour after abduction; 74 percent are killed within three hours.
Only 1 percent survive one day. Forty percent die before anyone reports them missing.

http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/va...cle_4d47027a-058c-11e3-a66f-0019bb2963f4.html
_____________________________

For a week, law enforcement authorities classified the investigation as a missing persons case.

That changed on Friday, and now the case is called an abduction, something the girls&#8217; families have pushed for since July 13.


http://www.desmoinesregister.com/ar...ieves-missing-Iowa-girls-alive?nclick_check=1
 

bessie

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If Klunder is eventually determined to be a suspect in the Lyric Cooke and Elizabeth Collins murders, then the discussion will take place in their thread. In the meantime, those who would like to discuss Klunder can do so in the thread I've opened in the Serial Killer forum. Though he doesn't officially bear that title, it's a pretty good fit.

IA IA - Michael J Klunder: Violent Sexual Offender, Murderer, and Suspected SK - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community



Also, get ready to hop over to Thread #34 for Lyric and Elizabeth. I'll be back in a few minutes with the link.
 
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