DAYTON, Iowa, May 22 (UPI) -- As searchers in Iowa hunted Wednesday for an abducted teenage girl, a law enforcement official called the discovery of two backpacks and a purse major leads.
Kathlynn Shepard, 15, and a 12-year-old girl were abducted Monday afternoon after stepping off a school bus. The younger victim escaped and survived, and the body of suspect and registered sex offender Michael Klunder, 42, was found Monday night, a suicide.
The backpacks of the two girls, and a purse, were found in Fraser, about 15 miles from where the girls were abducted and about 8 miles from the agricultural building where the younger girl escaped, The Des Moines Register reported.
Bill Kietzman, special agent of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said the found items were valuable because they helped narrow the search for Shepard.
"Our concern grows but we're still trying to be optimistic and positive that we're going to find her," Kietzman said.