UPDATE: Search continues for missing 15-year old Iowa Teen - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UPDATE: Search continues for missing 15-year old Iowa Teen

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UPDATE: DAYTON, Iowa (AP) -- Authorities plan to resume their search by river for a teenager in central Iowa abducted last month.

Dayton Police Chief Nick Dunbar says the state Department of Natural Resources will deploy boats on the Des Moines River this week to search for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard.

The Des Moines Register says the search will include new and old areas in the investigation.

Authorities halted their search for Kathlynn last week, which included more than 250 square miles in the Dayton area. Flooding also affected their efforts.

Police suspect Michael Klunder abducted Kathlynn and her 12-year-old friend on May 20 in Dayton. The younger girl was able to escape. Klunder was later found dead. Some of Kathlynn's blood has been found, dampening hopes of finding her alive.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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DAYTON, Iowa (AP) -- Law enforcement officials and volunteers are continuing to search for a 15-year-old Iowa girl who was kidnapped, even though the chances of finding her alive have diminished.

Division of Criminal Investigation agent Bill Kietzman said 10-member teams will search Friday in an expanded area of central Iowa for Kathlynn Shepard.

Police say 42-year-old Michael Klunder convinced Kathlynn and a 12-year-old friend to get into his truck while they were walking home from school. They say he took them to a hog confinement building, where their hands were tied with zip ties. The 12-year-old broke free and ran through the woods to safety. Klunder was found dead hours later after hanging himself at another rural property.

Authorities announced Thursday they found Kathlynn's blood on Klunder's truck and at the hog building.

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- An Iowa police chief says a dozen investigators are looking into whether the suspect in Monday's kidnapping of two girls is connected to last year's slaying of two cousins who vanished 90 miles away.

Authorities believe Michael Klunder kidnapped 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard and her 12-year-old friend as they walked home from school. The 12-year-old was able to escape, but Kathynn is still missing.

Evansdale Police Chief Kent Smock said Thursday that investigators are now scrutinizing Klunder in connection with the deaths of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins because of similarities in the cases.

The cousins were 10 and 8 when they disappeared while riding bikes last July. Their bodies were discovered in December.

Smock says investigators are "exploring anything and everything" about Klunder, who was found dead earlier this week.

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