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Suspected abductor of girls found dead

DES MOINES — A massive search was underway Tuesday for a 15-year-old girl abducted from an Iowa bus stop, after authorities said a man who is suspected of taking her and another girl committed suicide.

Dozens of federal, state, and local law enforcement were searching by air, land, and water for Kathlynn Shepard. She and a 12-year-old girl were taken from a Dayton bus stop Monday afternoon after accepting a ride from a stranger. The younger girl was able to escape.

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The 12-year-old girl, who has not been identified, told investigators she and Shepard were taken to an agricultural facility. But she said she was able to escape a short time later and ran to a rural residence for help, Special Agent Bill Kietzman said.

She was then taken to a Fort Dodge hospital and released.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said at a Tuesday press conference that the body of 42-year-old Michael Klunder was found Monday night with a red Toyota Tundra pickup at a rural property about 60 miles north of Des Moines.

Klunder is listed on the state’s sex offender registry, and he spent several years in prison on kidnapping charges, prison records show. Authorities said he lived and worked in the area.

Shepard’s name and photo were released in an effort to find the teenager alive, said Jessica Lown with the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

The abduction spanned several hours, officials said .

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