DPS: Citizen volunteers no longer needed in Shepard search

The Iowa Department of Public Safety has announced that citizen volunteers are no longer needed to help search for Kathlynn Shepard.

In a press release, the DPS stated “law enforcement is scaling back and narrowing their focus on terrain that is more difficult to navigate. At this time citizen volunteers are no longer needed, as future search efforts will require specialized skills and equipment.”

They added that investigators will now focus on the land between the hog confinement where Shepard and a 12-year-old girl were taken and where their backpacks were found.

“The Department of Public Safety, Webster County Sheriff’s Office and the Dayton Police Department extend their thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who helped search roughly 220 square miles of rural Webster, Boone and Hamilton counties,” the DPS stated. “For each of the last 4 days, more than 125 law enforcement, firefighter, first responder and correction personnel, working with nearly 200 citizen volunteers walked fields and timber completely covering the designated search area.”

Shepard, 15, was abducted Monday in Dayton. Her suspected abductor, Michael Klunder, committed suicide by hanging Monday night.

Investigators are still asking that anybody who comes across anything suspicious or learns anything related to Shepard’s disappearance to call the Webster County Sheriff’s Department at 573-1410.