Investigators in Dayton say blood evidence found around a hog confinement lot has tested positive as belonging to Kathlynn Shepard. The 15-year-old has been missing since she and a 12-year-old girl were abducted Monday. The younger girl escaped.
Agent Bill Kietzman with the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation provided an update on the case late this afternoon. “I won’t go into the quantity of blood that was found. It’s enough to show that she probably sustained some injuries and we’ll leave it at that for now,” Kietzman said.
The teen’s blood was also found on the tailgate of the pickup belonging to Michael Klunder. The 42-year-old is the accused kidnapper. He was found dead Monday night and Kietzman revealed today that Klunder had hung himself.
Authorities have expanded the search for Shepard 10 miles to the west and northwest of the hog confinement where the girls were taken. “We are not giving up hope that we can find Kathlynn. Our intent is to find her and bring her home to her family,” Kietzman said. “Clearly, this (blood) evidence diminishes hopes that we’re going to find her in a safe manner.”
Hundreds of people have volunteered their time, helping police in the search for Shepard. Kietzman issued a call for even more help. “We’re asking any farmers in the area to search their own outbuildings,” Kietzman said. “If they have abandoned buildings on their property they know about, they can either search them themselves or call us and we’ll do that search for them.”
Kietzman said Klunder’s wife has been cooperating with the investigation and is not a suspect in the case. Investigators believe Klunder acted alone.