As news of the Evansdale girls spreads, one central Iowa mother can relate to what the parents are going through.
Hunters found two bodies in Seven Bridges Park Wednesday afternoon.
Authorities say they’re confident the bodies are that of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins.
The cousins disappeared while riding their bikes on July 13th in Evansdale.
The news hits close to home for one metro mom whose son disappeared more than 30 years ago.
Noreen Gosch’s son Johnny was only 12 years old when he disappeared in 1982 while on his paper route in West Des Moines.
She’s since become an advocate for missing children, and helped get the word out about the Evansdale girls.
Gosch says when news broke two bodies were found, she immediately felt for the families of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins.
“It tests you emotionally, spiritually, physically, everything that you ever believed in is tested during a time like this,” says Gosch.
Gosch says what happened is tragic, and proves more needs to be done to protect Iowa’s children.
“We have to at some point, have stiffer legislation for punishment for these criminals, the ones that take a little child, molest them, and then kill them,” says Gosch.
Gosch plans to push for the death penalty during the 2013 legislative session.
“I feel that if a criminal knew that they might face the death penalty here if they were caught, perhaps it may be a deterrent,” says Gosch.
Gosch says the number of attempted abductions in Iowa is staggering.
Officials have reported 42 abductions in Iowa between June and October of this year.
Gosch hopes by continuing to be an advocate for tougher penalties, she can prevent another case like this.
“I would rather stand on the side of protecting our children, than be too lenient in our laws and protecting our perpetrators,” says Gosch.
MSNBC will be airing a one-hour special on the disappearance of Johnny Gosch on December 16th at 8 p.m.