Kathlynn Shepard's Father Still Waiting

By Laura Nichols, KCCI.com


By Jay Knoll

WEBSTER COUNTY, Iowa - Monday marks one week since Kathlynn Shepard, 15, was kidnapped not far from her school in Dayton.

Michael Shepard, Kathlynn's father, said this past week has been unimaginable. He said their family wouldn't be able to cope if it wasn't for all the support they've received from the Dayton community.

"It's like we have been here all of our lives," Shepard said. "The support is... I can't find a word to say what the support has been like."

The town of Dayton is covered in many purple ribbons. Purple is Kathlynn's favorite color.

Purple ribbons are tied around nearly every street sign and tree. Local businesses are also selling ribbons to benefit the family.

Authorities said Kathlynn and Dezi Hughes, 12, were kidnapped last Monday by Michael Klunder, and taken to a nearby hog confinement.

Hughes managed to escape and Klunder committed suicide.

Kathlynn's father said it's hard to put into words what the family is going through.

He said he'll never understand why this happened to his daughter, a smiling 15-year-old who loved people, animals, and the Minnesota Vikings.

He said the family will never give up searching for her, and they don't question if she'll come, just when.

Shepard said he is glad Hughes escaped. He said he has talked to her many times about what happened, and said he is her biggest fan.

Shepard said Klunder should never have gotten out of prison.
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