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A positive forensic identification has confirmed the two bodies found in a Bremer County wildlife area last week are those of cousins Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins.

According to Chief Kent Smock of the Evansdale Police Department, the girls’ families have been notified.

The bodies were found December 5th by hunters in the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area. The following day, investigators said even though positive identification hadn’t been made they were confident the remains were of Lyric and Elizabeth.

The girls disappeared July 13th after riding bikes near Meyers Lake in Evansdale.

The autopsy was completed by the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny. A full report on the findings will be sent to investigators.

Gov. Terry Branstad released the following statement after the positive identification was made:

“It was with great sadness that I learned of the deaths of Lyric and Elizabeth. I want to commend the thousands of family members, friends and volunteers who never lost hope that they might be found alive. With this closure now comes great grief. The thoughts and prayers of my administration go out to those affected by this terrible tragedy. I want to assure everyone that our Department of Public Safety will continue working with local law enforcement officers. We want justice served for the taking of these young lives.”