UPDATE: Officials: Missing East Dubuque, Ill. teen strangled - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Officials find remains believed to be missing teen Chyenne Kircher

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Terry L. Abbas Terry L. Abbas


At a Friday morning media conference, the Jo Daviess Co. Sheriff's Office said officials found human remains Thursday evening believed to be missing East Dubuque teen Chyenne Kircher.

Officials will remain on the scene Friday to excavate the entire area where they found the remains.  

Authorities are still not talking about any motives or details about Kircher's stepfather Terry Abbas, who is charged with her death.

Officials say at this time they believe Abbas was the only person involved with Chyenne's murder, and do not anticipate her mother will be charged.

The East Dubuque Police Department initially classified Kircher as a runaway. She had, after all, left a note saying she was running away and didn't want to be found.

"That was just a piece of information that we used," police chief Steve O'Connell said. "We were always looking for something else, something to give us a different direction. There was never anything throughout all the interviews that we conducted initially that there was any foul play or suspicion."

As time went on, however, that scenario made less and less sense.

"That she could run away and never be heard from again," Jo Daviess County chief sheriff's deputy Dave Hachmeister said. "We couldn't even do that as adults, so even though there was a runaway note, which can be explained away at a later time, that's what concerned us the most."

KWWL asked officials whether any other people may be implicated, such as Kircher's mother Lori Lyons, who married Abbas in 2005. Again, Hachmeister reiterated, officials say they believe Abbas was the only one involved in Kircher's homicide.

"I'm sure mom was hoping in her heart of hearts that she was a runaway," Hachmeister said.

The small town of East Dubuque has been reeling since the news this week that Kicher's remains may be been in her own backyard this whole time.

"She's in God's hands now," Hachmeister said. "There probably, to some degree, is a sense of closure. However, it's early in on the grieving process."


In 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon media conferences, Jo Daviess County, Ill. chief sheriff's deputy Dave Hachmeister said officials are still excavating the body of missing East Dubuque, Ill., teen Chyenne Kircher from behind her home at 480 Wisconsin Ave.

A third media conference at 8 a.m. Friday will reveal more information, he said.

Hachmeister said Kircher's stepfather, 40-year-old East Dubuque man Terry Abbas, faces two counts of first degree murder stemming from the incident. He faces a $1 million bond.

He and his wife -- Kircher's mother Lori Lyons -- lived in the home with Lyons' son and daughter (Kircher).

According to the criminal complaint court document, Abbas strangled to death a minor with the initials C.K. on or about Oct. 13, 2011. That's the date then-14-year-old Kircher went missing.

The criminal complaint says Abbas, "without lawful justification, and with the intent to kill 'C.K,' a minor, strangled 'C.K' with his hand, thereby causing the death of 'C.K.'."

In the second and related charge, the criminal complaint says Abbas "knowingly, without lawful justification, performed an act that created a strong probability of death," in that he "strangled 'C.K'," thus causing C.K.'s death.

Both charges pertain to Kircher's death.

On Facebook, Terry Abbas lists a person named "Chy Chye Love" as his daughter. That person's profile appears to be Chyenne Kircher's with photos of the girl. He is also Facebook friends with Lori Lyons.

Since Wednesday night, more than a dozen vehicles have been parked on the lawn of 480 Wisconsin Avenue and officials, including those from the East Dubuque Police Department, Jo Daviess, Ill. Sheriff's Office, FBI and Illinois State Police, have been on the scene.

Hachmeister confirmed Abbas and Lyons are married. He declined to comment on whether any additional charges will be filed or any other people arrested.

According to KWWL's coverage partner the Telegraph Herald newspaper, Dubuque County public records show Lyons and Abbas married on Oct. 31, 2005.

Members of the small community say they are shocked this could happen. Tammy Dutler lives in East Dubuque. She says she cannot imagine the pain the family is going through.

'It's heartbreaking...I have a child her age and I can't even imagine any family having to go through," she said.
Dutler knew Kircher from seeing her around the community.

"She was always alone. You would always see her walking around town alone and she would talk to everybody. She really wasn't alone...because everybody was always there for her." Dutler said.

That support was shown Thursday at East Dubuque High school. Local Superintendent, Greg Herbst said on Thursday some students at East Dubuque High School wore the color yellow in support of Kircher.

"I think it's a show of solidarity and support to Chyenne and all of the families that she belonged too. Certainly her immediate family and extended families but also her school family and community family." Herbst said.

Officials have scheduled another news conference for tomorrow morning at eight.


East Dubuque Police say they will hold a media conference Thursday afternoon regarding Chyenne Kircher, a teenager who has been missing since Oct. 13, 2011.

Police were at the East Dubuque home of Kircher's mother Lori Lyons Wednesday night. An officer on the scene prevented KWWL from approaching the home.

Thursday morning, police confirmed they have new information regarding Kircher and will release it in a media conference set tentatively at 2 p.m. in East Dubuque.

Kircher was 14 when she went missing nearly two years ago.

In an interview with KWWL in June of this year, Lyons said her daughter left a note behind saying she didn't want to be found, but that didn't make Lyons feel any better about her daughter's sudden and mysterious disappearance.

"What I want to do is go knock on every single door in America and ask if they've seen my kid," Lyons said in June.


To read the criminal complaint, click here

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