Investigators Rule Out Suspect In Evansdale Abduction Case
It's been 22 months since Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey disappeared while riding their bicycles in Evansdale. As authorities continue to investigate the 2012 case, they have ruled out Michael Klunder as a possible suspect in the cousins' abduction and deaths.
Klunder is the convicted sex offender who authorities say committed suicide after abducting two girls near Dayton in Webster County last May. One of the girls escaped and Klunder was found dead. Kathlynn Shepard's body was later found in the Des Moines River.
Because of the similarities between the two high-profile cases, Evansdale police chief Kent Smock says an investigation team was assigned to gather evidence concerning Klunder's whereabouts on July 13, 2012 -- the date Collins and Cook-Morrissey disappeared.
According to Smock, the evidence shows no connection between the two cases at this time. Therefore, he says, authorities are ruling out Klunder as "a person of interest" in the Evansdale investigation.
Smock says Klunder hasn't been the sole focus of the local case. Even though it hasn't been in the public eye, Smock says investigators are still receiving and reviewing evidence and they remain confident that the case will eventually be solved.
On the day Collins and Cook were reported missing, a firefighter found their bicycles and personal belonging near Meyers Lake. The girls' bodies were found December 5, 2012, in a wooded recreation area in Bremer County.
A $175,000 reward is available to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the Evansdale abduction.
Anyone with information should call Evansdale police at 319-232-6682, Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-866-300-8477, or any law enforcement agency. Callers can remain anonymous.