Iowa girls' family downplays past issues

July 19, 2012 at 3:54 PM
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EVANSDALE, Iowa, July 19 (UPI) -- Misty Morrissey said she hopes Iowa investigators can focus on finding her daughter and niece, missing since Friday, and not dwell on the family's past.

Daughter Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, and Lyric's cousin Elizabeth Collins, 8, have been the subject of a search in their hometown of Evansdale, Iowa, which has included the dredging, then the draining of nearby Meyers Lake, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported Thursday.

"There is a history in our family, but it's not one we are scared of," said Misty Morrissey on Wednesday, a reference to Daniel Morrissey, Lyric's father, and his September court date on charges police found equipment in his home used to manufacture methamphetamine in December 2011 and his pending domestic assault charge stemming from an alleged attack on Misty last August. Under her maiden name of Misty Cook, Lyric's mother pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine in 2003, the newspaper reported.

Daniel Morrissey's September court appearance was set the day before Lyric's disappearance, and one of his alleged accomplices in the drug case had a pretrial conference the day she was reported missing, but Misty said the family's past has nothing to do "with the disappearance of our children."

Tammy Brousseau, an aunt of the missing girls, said anyone seeking retaliation would likely have targeted Dan Morrissey.

"The children weren't exposed to those people. They were pretty much, for the most part, kept away from there," she said.

Brousseau told ABC, however, police have told Morrissey "they had proof that he did it." She said investigators seized the couple's computers.

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