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UPDATE: Tests determine Shepard's blood found at site

Search continues; Klunder's wife not a suspect, according to DCI.

May 23, 2013
Messenger News

DAYTON - Blood found at a hog confinement has been identified at Kathlynn Shepard's. She has been missing since 4 p.m. Monday.

"Clearly, the time element is not in our favor. Our intent is still to find Kathlynn and bring her home ... we are still making a concerted effort to find her. It's still our goal to find her safely," said Special Agent Bill Kietzman of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Officials Thursday are continuing to search along the Des Moines River and north in the continued search for Shepard. An new area of focus will be the area 10 miles north and northwest of the site where the body of Michael Klunder, the man believed to have abducted Shepard and a 12-year-old girl, was discovered - 3319 Taylor Avenue in rural Dayton.

Autopsy results show that Klunder committed suicide by hanging, Kietzman said.

Kietzman said the information from the 12-year-old released by some media outlets is consistent with what was told to law enforcement.

According to Kietzman, the two girls were lured into Michael Klunder's pickup truck with an offer to make money mowing grass. They wanted to contact their parents and Klunder he said he would let them use his cell phone after they viewed the site. Once they arrived at the hog confinement operation, located at 3023 400th St. in rural Pilot Mound, the girls' hands were zip-tied, and he took Kathlynn out of the office where they had been taken.

It was then that the 12-year-old girl was able to escape.

The gun she said she saw in Klunder's possession was a tool used to euthanize animals.

Authorities later recovered the gun "right where she said it would be," Kietzman said.

Kietzman said that, although the 12-year-old girl's name has been made public through some media outlets, he does not feel the DCI should release the name and that officials will continue to refer to her as "the 12-year-old girl."

Kietzman said officials are asking farmers to search their own outbuildings because they will know their farms better than authorities. Although there were 140 law enforcement officers and more than 100 volunteers Thursday, it would be impossible for them to search every outbuilding, he said.

Meanwhile, Klunder's wife, identified as Lisa Klunder in a press release from the Iowa Department of Public Safety, has been completely cooperative with law enforcement and is not a suspect.

Kietzman said investigators are "certain" Klunder operated by himself.

 
 

 

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