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NASCAR cars to carry photos of missing Iowa girls

Posted at 9:34 AM, Aug 05, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-05 09:34:03-04

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) – It’s been three weeks since two little girls in Iowa went missing while riding their bicycles near a lake. On Sunday, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race will sport a special decal bearing the images of the cousins to raise awareness in the case.

The beaming faces of Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook, 10, will be on the deck lid of cars No. 83 and 93 at the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway. A telephone number for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children will also be on the decal of the two Toyotas, said BK Racing, which owns both cars.

“Being from Iowa, and having some other folks in the sport from Iowa, we’re all pulling together to raise as much attention as possible to help locate the two missing girls,” said Landon Cassil of Cedar Rapids and driver of No. 83 . “I really want to do as much as possible and this is one step.”

Travis Kvapil, who drives No. 93, is a father of three and hopes the team’s efforts will aid in the search.

“As a parent, I want to do anything I can to help the families locate their children,” he said.

Lyric and Elizabeth were last seen by their grandmother on July 13. Authorities investigating their disappearance believe they are still alive.

“We believe these girls are alive and we are not discouraged by the passage of time since their disappearance,” FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault told reporters in Evansdale, Iowa, last month.

She declined to discuss exactly what evidence investigators might have that pushed them toward that conclusion. Breault said she believes someone knows something, and she urged anyone with information to step forward.

A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the successful recovery of the girls and the prosecution of the person, or people, responsible, she said.

“Cooperation with law enforcement is the key factor in discovering the whereabouts of Lyric and Elizabeth. Unfortunately, in this case law enforcement has not received total cooperation from all family and close friends. It’s important to note that the majority of the family has cooperated 100%,” Breault said. “We believe there’s someone out there and we would urge them to come forward.”

The girls’ bicycles and a purse were found near Meyers Lake hours after they were reported missing.

A search of the 25-acre lake turned up nothing, and the FBI is confident the girls aren’t in the lake, said Breault.

Authorities are now calling their disappearance an abduction.