A body found by fishermen in the Des Moines River is believed to be that of abducted 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard. Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Agent Gerard Meyers says an autopsy will be conducted this morning to confirm identification.
But he says the clothing and zip ties found with the body make investigators fairly confident that the body is that of Shepard.
Webster County Sheriff James Stubbs thanked all who helped with the search.
“We were robbed of some innocence. It’ll never quite be the same, but hopefully time will heal some of those wounds. But the awareness is definitely a lot higher than it ever was before
The body was found partially covered under a bridge in Boone County, far downriver from where Shepard was last seen on May 20th.
Kathlynn Shepard has been missing since May 20, when she and her friend were lured into a pickup truck driven by 42-year-old Michael Klunder.
The younger girl escaped after Klunder took them to a hog confinement facility. Klunder hanged himself hours after the kidnapping.
The news brings partial closure to volunteers and local law enforcement who have been searching for Shepard in three counties of north-central Iowa. The search had to be suspended due to flooding as was set to get underway again today.