Father of missing Iowa girl, Lyric Cook-Morrissey, under supervision for ongoing drug charges
(CBS/AP) EVANSDALE, Iowa - Authorities in Iowa have taken steps to keep a closer watch on the father of one of two missing cousins, a man with a lengthy criminal history who stopped cooperating with police in the week-old investigation, court records showed Friday.
A judge has ordered Daniel Morrissey, 36, placed in a pretrial supervision program of the Iowa Department of Corrections while he faces September trials in two separate drug cases. The change means Morrissey, who has been free on bond, will be supervised by parole officers who will make sure he shows up in court and does not violate the terms of his release.
Morrissey is the father of 10-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey, who vanished near an Evansdale lake while riding bikes with her cousin, 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins.
Black Hawk County Chief Deputy Rick Abben said Thursday evening he's not sure why the couple had stopped cooperating, but it created a distraction for investigators. He said Morrissey and his wife aren't considered suspects and the investigation is still considered a search for missing persons. Abben did confirm that Morrissey took polygraph tests earlier in the week.
Meanwhile, a special FBI dive team used sonar equipment Friday to search the 26-acre Meyers Lake, and divers planned to go underneath the surface later Friday, FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault said. The girls' bicycles were found on a path near the lake.
Meyers Lake, near an interstate in northeast Iowa, is stocked with fish and popular for fishing. Investigators dredged it after the girls disappeared and began draining the water before halting that operation Thursday because the FBI dive team needs at least 6 feet of water for its sonar equipment to function.
On Friday, parts of the lake were nearly empty, with the sandy and muddy bottom showing, but other areas still had up to 20 feet of murky water. FBI agents made laps of the lake in an Iowa Department of Natural Resources boat, while four other agents slowly walked along the shore, looking for evidence. They waded into water that ranged from ankle-deep to chest-high.
Black Hawk County Chief Deputy Rick Abben said agents were looking for the girls' bodies as well as anything in the lake that might be evidence. He said a search last weekend with sonar equipment operated by DNR found nothing in the lake, but FBI's technology is far superior.
The FBI uses two kinds of sonar -- one that can detect debris in murky water and another that provides a 360-degree analysis of the bottom of the lake. That device is mounted on a tripod that sends signals to computers on the surface helping direct divers where to search.
"It's high-tech," Abben said. "It should be pretty good stuff."
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