Families of missing girls, community struggle with discovery of bodies

The families of two young Iowa cousins missing for five months still had been hoping the girls would come home, maybe even for Christmas, until the sad news arrived that two bodies had been found.

The state medical examiner's office is still conducting autopsies, but officials say the remains are believed to be those of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins, who were 10 and 8 when they vanished July 13 while riding their bicycles.

The girls' families were spending time with each other Thursday trying to cope with the news.

Many in the community attended a vigil Thursday night held around a Christmas tree set up to honor the girls.

Hunters found the bodies Wednesday about 25 miles from Evansdale, the city of 4,700 where the girls were last seen.