Trinity Mount Ministries

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Branstad: Policies on missing kids should be reviewed:

Sioux City Journal
Branstad: Policies on missing kids should be reviewed

A state trooper on Thursday mans a checkpoint by the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area in Bremer County, Iowa, near where two bodies were found Wednesday. Officials are investigating whether the remains are those of two missing cousins. 

DES MOINES | Gov. Terry Branstad on Thursday said state officials will review policies on missing children in light of news that two bodies were found in a wooded area of Evansdale, Iowa, on Wednesday. An autopsy will determine whether the remains are those of two missing cousins.
"It's a tragic situation," said Branstad, whose office held off issuing a public statement pending official identification by the state medical examiner.
He said state Division of Criminal Investigation agents will take evidence from the autopsies "to determine what clues there might be as to who may have committed this heinous crime. We have confidence that they have the ability and we want to make sure that they have the tools they need to do a thorough investigation and continue to try to apprehend the perpetrators."
Elizabeth Collins, 9, Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 11, have been missing since July.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that Heather Collins, the mother of Elizabeth, confirmed in a Facebook post late Wednesday that the bodies are those of the missing girls.
"We have been so blessed by ... all the prayers and support tonight with the gut wrenching news that my beautiful daughter and niece's bodies were found by hunters today," Heather Collins wrote.
Officials are planning a 4 p.m. press conference to announce the autopsy results.
Branstad during a Thursday news conference commended the efforts of local and state authorities, the community, the families and volunteers that worked to find the missing girls. He said he last spoke to family members of the missing girls at the Iowa State Fair last summer.
Branstad said legislative efforts to respond to missing child reports date to the disappearance of West Des Moines newspaper carrier Johnny Gosch in the 1980s and there have been numerous updates since then. However, he said, it would be appropriate again to look at "what we've done, what could be done differently and what could be done better" to strengthen protections and response efforts when children are kidnapped or abducted.
"We need to recognize a lot of times a missing child is not kidnapped, but there are times like this when the child is a victim of kidnapping and we need to move very quickly and we need to make sure the public is aware and we can get information from whatever source can be helpful," he said. "We'll review our laws and see if there's more that we can do to be as effective as possible."

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