Posted at: 06/09/2013 2:47 PM
Updated at: 06/09/2013 2:51 PM
(AP) - The family of an abducted Iowa teenager has released a statement after authorities confirmed the 15-year-old's death.
Kathlynn Shepard's father said Sunday that the teen's family has "lost part of its soul," but that Kathylnn is now in a better place and safe from predators. Kathylnn was described as an innocent, caring and fun-loving child.
The State Medical Examiner and Department of Criminal Investigation said Sunday that had an autopsy had confirmed that a body found Friday night in Boone County was Kathylnn's.
Kathylnn was found dead in the Des Moines River weeks after she was abducted while walking home with a 12-year-old friend. Authorities say Michael Klunder abducted the girls and took them to a hog confinement facility, where the 12-year-old escaped. Klunder was found dead later that day.