Missing Iowa girls Lyric Cook-Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins could be anywhere, but the FBI confirms that they still believe the cousins are alive. This was earlier speculated upon in this Gather News article, but the latest source confirms without a doubt that the FBI is firm in the belief that the two children are not dead. Again, what is leading them to have this belief?
This source confirms that the FBI stance on whether or not the children are alive hasn't changed. Holding onto hope is important in the case of these missing cousins, just like any other case, but it's obvious that the federal agents know more than what is being released to the media and the public. It also appears that they're not even telling the family what they know, and for good reason. The relatives involved have been known to have loose lips throughout this case, so the FBI is most likely wanting to protect the leads and evidence for the solidarity of the investigation.
All of the leads that have been publicized so far have been proven useless in the search for the two girls. The mysterious man with a van was cleared, and apparently the man seen in a boat at the lake where there bikes were found has also been cleared. The family has cooperated with the only exception being the father of Lyric Cook-Morrissey. Daniel Morrissey has been publicly called a suspect, but nothing much has been spoken about him aside from this. This makes it hard to speculate away from his potential involvement. For instance, the man was known to have issues with drugs and violence -- is it possible that someone he knew took those girls so as to leverage them against him? Could he have wronged a dealer or someone else he might have owed money?
What about child trafficking?
Human trafficking is a growing problem in the United States, and believe it or not the FBI tends to go into "super secrecy mode" when it comes to investigating the potential of trafficking being evident. Eighty percent of human trafficking victims are underage girls, with an estimated 300,000 young girls being at risk every year of being used for commercial sexual exploitation. This is a $12 billion crime industry, unfortunately, and the U.S. is certainly not immune. One has to wonder if the secrecy of the FBI has anything to do with this possibility.