Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  DCI Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

New Information in the Search for Kathlynn Shepard

Webster County, IOWA --- Investigators and search parties have gained additional information surrounding the abduction and subsequent search for Kathlynn Shepard. Most significantly, a search team of law enforcement and K9s located the young girls' backpacks late yesterday, Tuesday, May 21, 2013. Additionally, investigators obtained an image of Kathlynn from the day of the abduction.

In the included image you can see Kathlynn as she exited the school bus, shortly before her abduction. Previous reports indicated she was wearing a Vikings Baseball cap. However, in this image you can see she is wearing an Cubs cap.


Kathlynn Shepard

Also included with this update is a map of the region where search efforts continue today, in and around Dayton, Iowa. In addition to the locations of interest previously provided, this map includes the location where Kathlynn's and the 12 year old girl's backpacks were found. The location of the backpacks is significant in that it provides an additional area at which investigators know Klunder and/or Kathlynn visited on the day of the abduction.

Map of Search Area
  1. 1st Avenue SW and area just west of the intersection on 7th St. SW, Dayton Iowa -- This site is where Kathlynn and a 12 year old girl were abducted shortly after exiting their school bus, while walking home. *Please note this is a correction from the address provided yesterday.
  2. 3023 400th Street in rural Pilot Mound, Iowa -- This site is where the 12 year old girl escaped from the abductor and ran to a nearby home at approximately 4:30 PM.
  3. 3319 Taylor Avenue in rural Dayton, Iowa -- This is the location the suspect, 42 year old Michael J. Klunder, was found dead at approximately 8:00 PM. Preliminary information indicates Klunder died of self-inflicted injuries. His red, Toyota Tundra pickup which was described by the 12 year old, was also located at this address.
  4. 400 block of Kale Avenue, in Boone County -- This is the location where the girls' backpacks were located.
  5. 924 Byron Street, Stratford, Iowa -- This is Klunder's residence.

As the search area is primarily rural and uninhabited terrain, investigators continue to solicit information from locals and frequent visitors. In particular, investigators are asking any hunters that may have placed hunting cameras in the area, to check their recorders and report any findings to law enforcement. Please call 515-573-1410.

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 coordinators indicating your name and contact number, as well as any resources you may be able to provide.

Law enforcement will hold a media availability at 2:00 PM today, May 22, 2013 at the Dayton Community Center, located at intersection of 1st Street and 1st Street NW. There you will be given a statement from Kathlynn's family, as well as an opportunity to ask questions about this most recent update.


Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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