Stepfather Accused of Killing East Dubuque Teenager Missing Since Oct. 2011

Terry Abbas being escorted through the Jo Daviess County Courthouse after making an initial appearance on Thursday, September 19, 2003. Abbas is accused of killing his stepdaughter Chyenne Kircher. Abbas' bond has been set at $1 million. (COURTESY GALENA GAZETTE)

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By Aaron Hepker

EAST DUBUQUE, Illinois - An East Dubuque man is charged with murder, accused of killing his stepdaughter who disappeared nearly two years ago.

Illinois court records show 40-year-old Terry Abbas was arrested and charged with two counts of murder this morning in Jo Daviess County. According to the records, Abbas is accused of strangling a minor identified only as "C.K." with his hand "with the intent to kill."

The filing references an offense date of October 13, 2011. That is the same day 14 year-old Chyenne Kircher disappeared from her East Dubuque home. Abbas made an inital appearance in Jo Daviess County Court Thursday, his bond was set at $1 million.

During a press conference Thursday afternoon, law enforcement announced that Abbas was arrested on Wednesday as part of their investigation into Chyenne's disappearance. Abbas was under investigation by a Critical Incident Response Team from the state of Illinois. The C.I.R.T. began their investigation six months ago.

During the press conference, a spokesperson said officials believed Chyenne body is located in an area behind her family home, an excavation of the scene is under way.

Officials from the East Dubuque Police, Jo Daviess County Sheriff's Office, the Illinois State Police and the FBI are at the excavation site.

In October 2012, East Dubuque Police Chief Steve O'Connell said samples of Chyenne's handwriting were sent to the state crime lab to find out if it matched the runaway note. O'Connell said the results did not lead them to believe there was foul play involved.

The Jo Daviess County Sheriff's Department has scheduled a press conference for 8 a.m. Friday.

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