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Elizabeth Collins, Lyric Cook-Morrissey: Very few significant leads in search for missing Iowa cousins, police say

Undated photos of missing Iowa cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey (left) and Elizabeth Collins (right) Personal photo

(CBS/AP) EVANSDALE, Iowa - Other than an officer examining and bagging as evidence an object found near where authorities are draining an Iowa lake in search for Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey, there was very little activity in the massive search for the missing cousins Tuesday.

PICTURES: Hundreds search for missing Iowa cousins

Officials didn't identify the object that an officer discovered while walking the shoreline near where the girls' bicycles were found, nor can they confirm whether the object is related to the search for Collins, 8, and her 10-year-old cousin, Lyric.

Chief Deputy Rick Abben of the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office said the case was still considered a missing persons investigation, and the decision to drain the lake was made to rule out with 100 percent certainty that the girls are not in the water. Once that's done, all resources can be used elsewhere, he said.

At least 30 FBI investigators joined the search for the girls, who were last seen Friday afternoon leaving their grandmother's house in Evansdale. Their bicycles and Elizabeth's purse were found later that day near a bike trail at the edge of Meyers Lake.

Officers slowly paddled around the lake in kayaks on Tuesday morning. An officer with gloves and an evidence bag picked up an object along the shoreline and took it back to a patrol car. The area was just a few feet from where the girls' bicycles were found.

FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault said the agency worked with a team of tracking dogs until around 11 p.m. Monday, when investigators removed the dogs after they failed to find either girl.

Breault said the pace of the search has been slowed down because of the time required to drain the lake. The draining began Monday afternoon and could take up to three days. But local officials said the draining likely will go faster because of the already low level of the lake and the Cedar River into which it drains.

More on Crimesider
July 16, 2012 - Search resumes for missing cousins, Iowa police say
July 16, 2012 - Authorities "grasping for straws" in missing Iowa girls case, sheriff deputy says
July 17, 2012 - Authorities begin draining Meyers Lake in search for missing Iowa girls

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