DAY FIVE: Search For Kathlynn Continues

Investigators are expanding their search for a missing 15-year old after they revealed more information about what they found at the crime scene.

Kathlynn Shepard disappeared Monday afternoon from a bus stop in Dayton. Officials say she was abducted with a friend, a 12-year-old, who managed to get away.

“He left the gun on the floor so I grabbed the gun and ran outside to the woods and hid,” says Dezirea Hughes. “I don’t feel like a hero. I feel regret because I should have went back and tried to help her.”

Hughes says Michael Klunder offered her and Shepard money to mow lawns, but then he took them to a hog confinement and zip-tied their hands. Dezirea managed to get loose and run away to safety.

shepard_kathlynn_400Authorities and volunteers will now search parts of Webster and Boone counties for Shepard, as the search enters its fifth day. They say they’re hopeful she’ll be found alive.

But new details in the case are casting doubts on those hopes.

On Thursday groups of 20 to 30 went out on ATV’s and on foot to search the area where the girls backpacks were found in rural Fraser. Volunteers are back at it Friday, despite discouraging news.

“DNA tests have been completed this morning and the blood there is Kathlynn Shepard’s blood.  I won’t go into the quantity of blood that was found.  It’s enough that she probably sustained some injuries,” says DCI agent Bill Keitzman.

Investigators say they found Kathlynn’s blood at the hog confinement and on the truck driven by Michael Klunder. Blood was also found on Klunder, who committed suicide Monday night, and though it hasn’t been tested they believe it is also Shepard’s.

Police are still calling the search a rescue, not a recovery.

Volunteers say they’ll help as long as they’re needed.

“I can’t imagine what they’re going through right now.  I really can’t.  I know I personally want to be able to get her home,” says volunteer Stephanie Wheeling.

Klunder_ToyotaPickupThe public is being asked to help in the case. Officials want to hear from anyone who may have seen Klunder’s red Toyota pick-up between 4:50 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. Monday.

Anyone with information should call 515-573-1410.

Police say they have talked to Klunder’s wife, and she is cooperating.  They say she was not involved in this incident and is just another victim in the case.

The search for Kathlynn resumed Friday morning at 8:00 a.m.

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