Body found in Des Moines River is missing Iowa teen

Authorities have confirmed the body found in the Des Moines River on Friday is Kathlynn Shepard.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, an autopsy was conducted on Saturday, June 8. Dr. Julia Gooden, Chief State Medical Examiner, determined the cause of death was multiple sharp and blunt forced injuries.

Police say 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard and a 12-year-old girl were abducted after they got off the school bus on Monday, May 20 in Dayton, Iowa.

Police said Michael Klunder allegedly offered the girls a job mowing lawns, and offered to take them to their houses to ask permission. Instead, police say Klunder drove the girls to a hog confinement in rural Pilot Mound, Iowa.

Once there, Klunder reportedly took the girls into an office attached to a hog building, zip-tied the girls’ hands, and took Kathlynn out of the building.

The younger girl was able to escape and run to a nearby house.

Police and volunteers searched for Kathlynn until flood waters slowed their search. On Friday, June 7, a fisherman spotted the body in the Des Moines River, according to a report by WHO.

According to WHO, the Dayton, Iowa community came together at a candlelight vigil on Saturday, June 8 to mourn the loss of Kathlynn. On Monday, the town plans to hold a tree of hope lighting. It will be purple in her honor.

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