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Search suspended for missing Iowa teen

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Kathlynn Shepard. (Photo courtesy of Iowa Department of Public Safety)

The search for a 15-year-old Iowa girl missing since May 20, 2013 has been suspended.

State Police said search efforts have covered more than 250 square miles in three counties since Kathlyn Shepard disappeared.

Shepard and another girl accepted a ride from Michael Klunder, whom police said abducted the girls and took the girls to a hog confinement.  The second girl managed to escape, and Klunder reportedly committed suicide.

Searchers have combed private and public land in the area, including hog confinements where Klunder worked.

Heavy rains and flooding conditions hindered parts of the search, especially along and near the Des Moines River.   Areas previously searched are now under water because of flooding.

Searches along the river will resume when conditions are safe for rescue teams but, for now, investigators say they have done all they can in terms of a ground search for Kathlynn Shepard.   Volunteers have helped search for the missing girl, and have also offered support to searchers by providing supplies and food.

“Officers want to reiterate that we are not giving up hope of finding Kathlynn and will continue until we can resolve this horrific act,” said a statement from the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

Investigators continued to ask property owners to search their property for any signs of Kathlynn Shepard.

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