Evansdale Cousins and Klunder

Michael Klunder
Michael Klunder

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa police chief says he hopes to know next week whether sex offender Michael Klunder is linked to the abduction and slaying of two cousins who vanished last year while riding bikes.

Evansdale Chief Kent Smock said Wednesday investigators are trying to retrace Klunder’s steps from July, when 10-year-old Lyric Cook and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins were abducted. Their bodies were found in December.

Police say Klunder committed suicide last week after he kidnapped two girls who were walking home from school in Dayton, 90 miles west of Evansdale.

A 12-year-old girl escaped but 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard remains missing.

Smock said investigators were getting subpoenas for Klunder’s phone records and seeking other information. He says he hopes to announce next week whether Klunder is believed to be responsible or uninvolved.

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