Black Hawk County sheriff's Capt. Rick Abben says two bodies were found Wednesday in a wooded area, though he wouldn't say where.
He says the families of the cousins, 9-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 11-year-old Lyric Cook, were told of the discovery and are asking for privacy.
Abben appeared to fight back tears, saying "it's definitely not the outcome that we wanted."
Abben says the bodies are being sent to the state medical examiner's office for identification.
The girls vanished July 13 near Meyers Lake in Evansdale in northeast Iowa. Their bikes were found near the lake.
Dozens of people attended a lakeside vigil for the girls Wednesday night.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)