Posted at: 05/21/2013 12:35 PM

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Police: Suspect in Abduction of 2 Girls Found Dead

DAYTON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a convicted sex offender who was suspected of abducting two girls from an Iowa bus stop has been found dead.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says 42-year-old Michael Klunder was found dead Monday night at a rural property northeast of Dayton, which is about 60 miles north of Des Moines. His cause of death hasn't been released.
 
Klunder is accused of abducting a 15-year-old girl and 12-year-old girl on Monday. The 12-year-old was able to escape and told authorities she and the other girl were taken to an agricultural facility after accepting a ride from a stranger.
 
The 15-year-old is still missing. Dozens of law enforcement agents are searching for Kathlynn Shepard. Authorities say they're releasing her name and photo in an effort to find her alive.
 
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
 
A man suspected of abducting two girls from a bus stop in central Iowa has been found dead, but a massive search for one of the girls continues, authorities said Tuesday.
 
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said at a news conference that the body of 42-year-old Michael Klunder was found Monday night at a rural property northeast of Dayton. His cause of death remains under investigation.
 
Dozens of federal, state and local law enforcement are searching still for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard. She and a 12-year-old girl were taken from a Dayton bus stop on Monday and transported to a rural agricultural facility southeast of the city.
 
The 12-year-old girl was able to escape and ran to a nearby rural residence for help, DCI Director Chari Paulson said. She told investigators that she and the 15-year-old had accepted a ride from a stranger.
 
The girl, whose name has not been released, was taken to a Fort Dodge hospital and released. Authorities haven't said what relationship the girls have to one another.
 
The onset of daylight has expanded the search, which includes about a 75- to 100-square-mile area of mostly rural land, according to Jessica Lown with the Iowa Department of Public Safety. Authorities are searching by air, water and land, and have deployed canine units. Volunteers also are conducting a foot patrol of the area.
 
Authorities have not released a lot of information about Klunder, but noted he resided and worked in the area.
 
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