DAYTON, IA – Kathlynn’s family and members of the community are coming together to prevent what happened to Kathlynn from happening to others.
It’s been more than a month since the disappearance and murder of young Kathlynn Shepard, but today is about showing strength through adversity.
“We as a family want to give our children of Iowa a safe environment from known predators such as the coward that took Kathlynn,” said Michael Shepard, father of Kathlynn Shepard.
In front of family and loved ones within the community, the Shepards stand alongside Brett king of the organization ‘Chelsea’s Light’ to introduce a new legislation to prevent future tragedies.
“It’s a one strike law that does not give the ability for release. One and your done. We don’t need to have a second victim,” said King.
Brett King’s daughter Chelsea, was abducted raped and killed back in 2010 and since then he’s tried to help other families suffering from similar devastation.
While the legislation is still in its beginning stages, they say its support from communities all across Iowa that will make sure it’s success.
Similar to the overwhelming support they’ve already seen in their small town of Dayton.
“From the communities standpoint, communication with the legislators is key. The constant letters, even simple ribbon sending. Whatever it takes, this community will do it and do it in big volumes,” said Mayor Richard Travis of Dayton.
“We’ll work with law enforcement, prosecutors, crime victims groups, legislators and any others that want to bring their voices to make sure that we shape this law carefully,” said King.
Although Michael understands that the process will take time, he also understands that if done well, the law could protect other families from the same fate.
“It’s going to be a long process. A lot of give and take. Quite honestly I have a picture in mind of what should happen to the offenders. However, legally a lot of it can’t be done. So I would like to make sure that nobody else has to deal with or go through what we’re going through,” said Shepard.
Since Kathlynn’s abduction, Dayton police say they’ve done whatever they can to show support for the Shepard family.
Whether they’re on or off duty they say this is important legislation that they’re supporting in hopes of creating a safer environment for the entire state.
“In our off duty capacity we’re gonna be behind it 100 percent. In our on duty capacity, once these laws are passed, of course we’re going to be again at it 100 percent. Until that change is made of course, we’re kind of restricted about what we can and cannot do when we’re on duty, but off duty, I’ve typed up letters already,” said Chief Nicholas Dunbar of Dayton Police.
Michael and family urge anyone to write to their legislators and make their voices heard if they want to end the violence and make Iowa streets once again safe.