Update: Blood Evidence Uncovered in Dayton

May 23, 2013

15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard, in a 2012 school portrait.
Credit LifeTouch, via the Dayton Leader

Investigators in Dayton say blood evidence found in a hog confinement has tested positive as belonging to Kathlynn Shepard. The 15-year-old has been missing since she and another teen were abducted Monday—the younger girl escaped.

The blood was found at the hog confinement where the girls were taken following their abduction, and on the body of abductor Michael Klunder. An autopsy on Klunder ruled his death a suicide by hanging.

Investigators confirmed that Klunder had formerly worked at both of the hog confinements involved in the case. He threatened the teenagers with a gun used to euthanize livestock.

Authorities are expanding the search for Kathlynn to ten miles to the west and northwest of the hog confinement where the girls were taken.

Agent Bill Kietzman of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says the search is still deemed a rescue, not a recovery, but they are in a race against time.

“We are not giving up hope,” Kietzman said. “Clearly, this evidence diminishes our hopes that we are going to find her in a safe manner.”

Investigators say they are still in need of help from volunteers to help with the search.

The pickup belonging to Michael Klunder.
Credit Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations