DAYTON, IA — Due to several factors, searchers are calling off the ground search for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard, who was abducted last week.
Read the full statement from the Iowa Department of Public Safety:
Dayton, IOWA — Investigators from the state, county and city working on the case of missing 15 year old Kathlynn Shepard have agreed that ground search efforts have been exhausted at this time. Ground searches have covered more than 250 square miles in three counties. Numerous areas where ground searches were previously preformed are now under water due to the flooding.
Recent weather has not been conducive for river searches as well. River searches will resume when the river is considered safe to navigate by rescue teams, as determined by the Department of Natural Resources.
The Webster County Sheriff’s office, state Division of Criminal Investigation and Dayton Police Department will diligently follow up on all leads submitted. Investigators again ask that all property owners search their property and report any information they have. Volunteers should only search areas that are safe for them to navigate and relay any findings to law enforcement.
Officers want to reiterate that we are not giving up hope of finding Kathlynn and will continue until we can resolve this horrific act.
There has been an overwhelming amount of support provided by numerous law enforcement officers, firefighters, first responders and citizens in this investigation and search effort. Everyone involved would like to thank all the agencies and volunteers for their gifts of time, resources, food, supplies and support during this difficult time for all involved.