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Kathlynn Shepard's Father Releases Statement
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The family of an abducted Iowa teenager has released a statement after authorities confirmed the 15-year-old's death.
Kathlynn Shepard's father said Sunday that the teen's family has "lost part of its soul," but that Kathylnn is now in a better place and safe from predators. Kathylnn was described as an innocent, caring and fun-loving child.
The State Medical Examiner and Department of Criminal Investigation said Sunday that had an autopsy had confirmed that a body found Friday night in Boone County was Kathylnn's.
Kathylnn was found dead in the Des Moines River weeks after she was abducted while walking home with a 12-year-old friend. Authorities say Michael Klunder abducted the girls and took them to a hog confinement facility, where the 12-year-old escaped. Klunder was found dead later that day.
Official Statement From Michael Shepard:
"Today our family has lost part of its soul. Not just the Shepard family, but the families of Dayton and all of Iowa.
"An innocent, caring, fun-loving child was taken from this world long before her time. Kathlynn has been found and is now at peace beside her Grandmother and Grandfather. She is in a place where there is no pain or violence. She is safe from the predators of this world, where no one can prey on her innocence. Our daughter was torn from our family and murdered.
"Due to the current laws of this state, a repeat offender was given the opportunity to attack again. Kathlynn will not be the last if something is not done. Our daughter is gone, but we have SO many more children we feel the need to protect. The children of Iowa are OUR CHILDREN. They are Kathlynn's brothers and sisters."
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