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Search for missing girl with ties to Pine River ends tragically

The body of Kathlynn Shepard, 15, who had been abducted in Iowa, was found in the Des Moines River by a fisherman on Friday, June 7. Dr. Julia Goodin, Iowa chief state medical examiner, confirmed that

the body was that of Shepard. Shepard and a 12-year-old friend were allegedly abducted by convicted sex offender Michael Klunder, who committed suicide following the other girl’s escape.

Shepard’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 sex offender laws that they say are not strict enough. 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 the two girls 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 from Dayton.

To support Shepard’s family, search “Kathlynn’s Hope” on Facebook or visit