The search for 15 year old Kathlynn Shepard continues this morning as many officers and volunteers scour rural lands in Webster, Boone and Hardin County. As officers continue the search on the ground, citizens are asked to submit any information they have surrounding Kathlynn's whereabouts or the whereabouts of her suspected abductor.
Forty-two year old Michael J. Klunder has been identified as the suspect in this kidnapping. Along with his Red, Toyota Tundra pickup, Klunder was located at approximately 8:00 PM on Monday night at a rural property northeast of Dayton, Iowa. When located, Klunder was dead. The cause of death is still under investigation.
If you have any information related to the disappearance of Shepard or may have come in cotact with Klunder between 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM on Monday, May 20, 2013, please contact law enforcement immediately at 515-573-1410. In particular, residents in and around the area where Boone, Webster and Hamilton counties meet, are asked to keep an eye out for the missing girl.
Kathlynn is 5'6" and 160 pounds. She has blond hair and blue eyes, as well as braces. She was last seen wearing jeans, a grey hooded sweatshirt and a Minnesota Vikings baseball cap.
At approximately 4:30 PM on Monday, a 12 year old female who had been abducted with Kathlynn ran to a rural residence and requested help. The girl indicated that she and Kathlynn had been abducted after accepting a ride from Klunder at the bus stop. She also indicated that the pair had been taken to an agricultural facility located southeast of Dayton, Iowa. It was at this location, the 12 year old was able to escape. Since that time she has been treated at an area hospital and released. The brave young girl has provided very valuable information to help law enforcement with the search and investigation.
Currently the search for Kathlynn spans a geographic area that is 75 to 100 miles square. Law enforcement are partnering with volunteers to search fields and wooded areas, as well as make contact with residents in the area. Airplanes equiped with Flir technology and law enforcement K-9s are also working.
Additional volunteers are not needed at this time, however, they may be needed in the near future. If you would like to contribute to the search for Kathlynn, please call Webster County Emergency Management at 515-571-6483. Please leave a message for search corrdinators indicating your name and contact number, as well as any resources you may be able to provide.
Additional information will be provided as the search for Kathlynn and the criminal investigation proceed.