Shepard family releases statement on daughter's murder - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Shepard family releases statement on daughter's murder

Kathlynn Shepard Kathlynn Shepard

The family of the abducted and killed 15-year-old, Kathlynn Shepard, released a statement Sunday to their hometown newspaper, The Dayton Leader.

Shepard's body was found Friday night in the Des Moines River.

Shepard had been missing since being abducted May 20.

The suspect in the case, Michael Klunder, killed himself in the hours after the manhunt began. He had been released from prison in 2010 after serving 19 years of a 41-year prison sentence.

The full 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. 

"We know in our hearts that Kathlynn would want us to be sure no child will have to endure what she went through. We will FIGHT to change the current sexual assault policies so there are mandatory sentences for the FIRST offense, to ensure that no offender can plea bargain to get a lessor [sic] sentence, NO earned time for 'GOOD' behavior, and parolees will adhere to strict monitoring guidelines. This law is intended to protect EVERYONE in Iowa. 

"The people of Iowa deserve no less."

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