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Jun 8, 2013 11:50 PM by Tony Spehar

Iowa residents saddened body could be missing girl

DAYTON, Iowa (AP) - Residents of a small central Iowa city and its surrounding communities say they're saddened and feel "robbed of some innocence" following the discovery of a body in a river believed to be that of a teenager who was abducted more than two weeks ago.

Along streets and businesses in Dayton, about 60 miles north of Des Moines, purple ribbons were neatly tied on trees, blooming flower pots and utility poles. One large sign near a grocery store on the city's main street read, "PRAY FOR KATHLYNN."

It all signified hope for finding 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard alive.

But investigators are confident the body a fisherman found Friday night in the Des Moines River under a bridge near Boone is that of the high school freshman, who was abducted on May 20 along with a 12-year-old girl who later escaped and found help.

An autopsy has been completed and a positive identification is pending.

Authorities believe Michael Klunder, a registered sex offender who later killed himself, kidnapped the girls.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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