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Body in Des Moines River believed to be missing girl

Kathlynn Shepard
Kathlynn Shepard

DAYTON, Iowa, June 8 (UPI) — Police said a body discovered Friday in the Des Moines River appears to be that of Kathlynn Shepard, a 15-year-old girl kidnapped a few weeks ago.

At a midnight news conference, police said fishermen found the body, KCCI-TV in Des Moines reported. Investigators said the clothing matched the missing teen’s and zip ties restraining the body were the same as those used on another teenage girl who escaped.

Investigators say Michael Klunder, who was paroled in 2011 after serving almost 20 years for kidnapping, abducted Kathlynn and Dezi Hughes, 12, luring them into his vehicle as they got off a school bus in Webster County May 20, the Des Moines Register reported. Dezi told police he took them to a hog confinement facility but she managed to escape and run into the woods.

Klunder took his own life last month.

Nick Dunbar, police chief of the small town of Dayton, Iowa, said the discovery of Kathlynn’s body was tough for the town.

“I don’t really have the words to say. It kind of came as a shock to me,” Dunbar said.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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