CREATED Dec. 13, 2012
Council Bluffs, IA - Five months after the disappearance of Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook, Collins' parents are demanding change. Hunters found the girls bodies last week. As family members greive, they plan to meet with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad hoping to get the death penalty reinstated.
"If someone murders a child they need to be punished severely," Drew Collins said.
Elizabeth's parents are bracing for the worst as details of the investigation come out. They want the killer captured, and ultimate justice allowed for future cases. Branstad has said he's in favor of re-instating the death penalty, but it could be an uphill battle. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs, says he's morally opposed. "That's the way I was raised. The Catholic Church is teaching the death penalty is wrong."
Iowa residents we spoke to have mixed reaction about capitol punishment. "If you kill, maybe an eye for an eye, especially little kids," Nicole Gustafson said.
"I'd probably just take him out in the woods and shoot him and save all the money," Ernie Yochem said.
While the issue is likely to gain no traction next session, Senator Gronstal says his heart goes out to the collins family. "These parents are going through a terrible tragedy and there is no way I would criticize them for anything they would do."
As majority leader, Senator Gronstal controls which bills are debated. He says death penalty legilsation won't likely pass next year.
The collins meet with Governor Branstad on Monday.