Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers continues to get tips in the investigation into the disappearance and deaths of Evansdale cousins Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins. The Crime Stoppers reward fund has now surpassed $20,000. Two young Waterloo girls are among reward fund donors hoping to make a difference.
Taylor Stefancik and Breann Minikus are becoming pros at braiding and twisting friendship bracelets. Over the past several weeks, the cousins have made more than a hundred of them. All this bracelet making started because these two young girls, ages 10 and 11, wanted to do something for missing Evansdale cousins Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins.
“I didn’t really know what I was going to do, and then my mom had an idea to do bracelets. Then like a week later, she (my cousin Taylor) started helping me,” said Breann Minikus.
“Well we tried our best for making these bracelets for people. We went to this Thanksgiving party, and all of a sudden a whole bunch of money just popped up. People just kept on buying bracelets,” said Taylor Stefancik.
Unfortunately, the money they raised didn’t get to help a reward fund established to bring Lyric and Elizabeth home. After learning the girls died, Breann and Taylor opted to donate all $60 in bracelet sale proceeds to the Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers.
“It felt good because if I was missing I’d want somebody to do that for me too and help me. I really wanted them to come back alive, but now maybe this can just help somebody come forward and hopefully we can find this sick person,” said Minikus.
This holiday season, the cousins have certainly learned it’s better to give than to receive, and their parents couldn’t be more proud.
“It actually kind of brings tears tot he eyes to know they want to help others when a lot of people would rather just take that $60 and buy a toy or video game or something like that. So to know their hearts were in it for the girls versus themselves was really awesome,” said Minikus.
The girls just hope their simple bracelets, along with public memorials like those at Meyers Lake in Evansdale, will serve as reminders to the community that someone has information that can lead to an arrest and conviction in the disappearance and deaths of Lyric and Elizabeth. With more money in the reward fund, just maybe that person will come forward.
If you have any information that can help with the investigation, call Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at 855-300-TIPS.
Breann and Taylor are still making bracelets upon request, and will continue to donate proceeds to the Crime Stoppers reward fund. You can email color and size requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to our sister station KWWL in Waterloo for this story.