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Search for missing girl ends tragically

Iowa Chief state Medical Examiner Dr. Julia Goodin confirmed that a body found in the Des Moines River by a fisherman on June 7 was that of 15 year old Kathlynn Shepard.

Kathlynn and a 12 year old friend were allegedly abducted by convicted sex offender Michael Klunder, who committed suicide following the escape of the 12 year old girl.

Kathlynn’s parents, Mike and Denise Shepard, were graduates of Pine River High School. They currently live in Dayton Iowa. They still have family in the area.

Since the abduction, family and friends have been campaigning to raise awareness of laws they say are not strict enough on sex offenders. They plan to continue with an effort to make prison sentences mandatory for sex offenders.

Klunder was sentenced to up to 41 years in prison for kidnapping and assault charges in 1992, but was released in early 2011, only 19 years into his sentence. Klunder would not have been capable of abducting Kathlynn if he had completed his prison sentence.

Klunder is also being investigated in the kidnapping and murder of Lyric Cook, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, less than 90 miles form Dayton.

To support Kathlynn’s family search Kathlynn’s Hope on facebook or visit

Becca Clemens
After graduating high school in 2004, I attended Central Lakes College in Staples, MN for 2 years where I got a diploma in Communication Art and Design. I then transfered up to Bemidji State University in, you guessed it, Bemidji, MN. In the spring of 2009, I graduated from BSU. Then in the fall of 2009 I got a job at Echo Publishing, a sister company to the Brainerd Dispatch.