Search continues for missing Iowa teen Kathlynn Shepard

May 22, 2013

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Kathlynn Shepard, 15, has been missing since Monday.

State troopers narrowed their search Wednesday morning for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard. She was abducted Monday while walking home from the bus stop in Dayton, Iowa with a younger girl who escaped soon afterwards. Their suspected abductor was found dead later that day. Despite the efforts search party of more than 300 members of law enforcement and volunteers from the area, Shepard has not been found.

Special Agent Bill Keitzman with the Iowa DCI says Wednesday’s search focuses on a smaller area.

"It’s about a three or four mile area we’re going to primarily. We’re looking at an area between where the girls were taken initially, and an area we think is very important."

He says law enforcement is in a race against time, but they’re hopeful they’ll find Shepard alive.

The events have rocked the rural community of less than one thousand residents, who have volunteered their time and donated food and bug spray to the rescue efforts.

Authorities in Dayton announced Wednesday they have uncovered the backpacks belonging to two girls who were abducted Monday as they walked home from the bus stop. Investigators said the backpacks seemed to have been discarded in a ditch a few miles south of Dayton. Police have asked hunters in the surrounding area to check their hunting cameras for possible leads.

The younger of the two escaped shortly after and alerted authorities, and the suspected abductor was later found dead of self-inflicted injuries. Investigators continue to search for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard in the rural areas surrounding the small community of Dayton.

A special agent with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said Wednesday morning they have focused the search to a 3 to 4 mile area.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety has released a photo of Shepard as she exited the bus on Monday afternoon, wearing a T-shirt with an American flag design and a Cubs baseball cap. They have asked anyone with tips to call the Webster County Sheriff’s office.

Credit Iowa Department of Public Safety