Search for kidnapped Iowa teen scaled back - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Search for kidnapped Iowa teen scaled back


Authorities are scaling back Saturday's search for a missing Iowa teen, abducted from a rural school bus stop on Monday.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, trained law enforcement will narrow the search around Dayton for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard.

Authorities said they're focusing on terrain that's difficult to navigate and requires specialized skills and equipment. That's why they're not enlisting help from community members.

They suspect Michael Klunder took Kathlynn and a 12-year-old girl on Monday to a hog confinement building several miles away. The younger girl managed to escape.

Family members of Kathlynn say the 12-year-old was able to flee to a nearby farmhouse with Klunder's gun after he took Kathlynn to a different part of the building.

Klunder was later found dead. Authorities said he hanged himself.

As the case goes into the weekend, authorities are not dismissing Klunder's possible involvement in another high-profile abduction case.

Elizabeth Collins and her cousin Lyric Cook were abducted last summer and later found dead. Elizabeth's mother said she's been contacted by authorities.

"Could it be this guy? Of course we would like it to be this guy and some might think that's weird but who wants to sit through, you know, a trial hearing about how someone took and murdered their daughter? Nobody wants to do that. Nobody that I know wants to do that. So, to me that would be a blessing if it would be him," said Heather Collins.

Police have talked to Klunder's wife, and she is cooperating. They said she was not involved and is just another victim in the case.

Klunder's ex-girlfriend said she worried he would harm her family after his release from prison in 2011. She cited prior threats and abuse.

The woman had a child with Klunder and the two lived together in 1991, when he was arrested and later convicted in two kidnappings.

At the urging of work release officials she sought a no-contact order.

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