Evansdale Mourns Elizabeth and Lyric at Vigil - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Evansdale Mourns Elizabeth and Lyric at Vigil

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By Alex Schuman

aschuman@myabc5.com

@alexschuman

Family friends of the Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey's parents decided the community needed somewhere to grieve the loss of the girls, after news Thursday that authorities are confident the two bodies found in a wooded area Wednesday are the missing girls. 

So right across the street from the police station where officers worked so hard to find these girls, the town mourned their loss by turning two evergreens into Christmas trees in their honor.

"We've just planned this event so everyone could come and be together and pay their respects," said Sarah Staebell, a family friend.

People decorated the trees with angels and the same kind of pink ribbons put up all over Evansdale to show support while the hunt was still on for the girls.

"The whole community had so much hope," said Kathy Lee, who did not know the family, but helped in the search.  "Everybody thought we were gonna have a miracle."

For many, the girls represent how something terrible brings out the best in a community.

"We just feel like their our girls," said Staebell.

"They are home now," said Staebell.  "They're not home how we wanted them, but they're safe now.  They're not hurting and scared now.  We don't have to worry anymore."

The vigil's organizers hope the girls' death does not create anger or hate.  Instead, they want people to stay positive and refocus the energy used to search for the girls - onto the search for their killer.

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