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Police look for link between suspect in kidnapping of 2 Iowa girls, slaying of 2 cousins

  • 735c7c0508e48311320f6a706700be9a.jpg

    This photo provided by The Iowa Department of Public Safety shows Kathlynn Shepard, 15. Authorities said Tuesday, May 21, 2013, a man suspected of abducting Shepard and a 12-year-old girl from a bus stop in central Iowa has been found dead, but a search continues for Shepard. Authorities said the 12-year-old girl was able to escape and ran to a nearby rural residence for help. (AP Photo/Iowa Department of Public Safety)The Associated Press

  • e5351ccb27b29a11320f6a706700f85c.jpg

    This image from video provided by The Iowa Department of Public Safety shows Kathlynn Shepard, 15, as she exits a school bus shortly before her abduction on Monday, May 20, 2013. Investigators say they recovered Shepard's backpack along with one belonging to a 12-year-old who escaped from the kidnapper. Police continued their search Wednesday, May 20, for Kathlynn around Dayton, about 60 miles north of Des Moines. (AP Photo/Iowa Department of Public Safety)The Associated Press

  • 5a6aa45027c99b11320f6a7067002d29.jpg

    This photo provided by The Iowa Department of Public Safety shows Michael J. Klunder. Authorities say Klunder committed suicide Monday, May, 20, 2013, hours after enticed two girls to enter his pickup truck near a rural Iowa school stop in at least his third kidnapping in a long criminal history in which he was ordered to receive sex offender treatment as a teenager. Police say a 12-year-old girl managed to escape and a search continues Wednesday, May 22, for Kathlynn Shepard, 15, who is still missing. (AP Photo/Iowa Department of Public Safety)The Associated Press

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    Members of the Iowa State Patrol huddle up to plan their morning as the search for Kathlynn Shepard, 15, continues on Wednesday morning May 22, 2013 in Dayton, Iowa. Shepard has been missing since Monday afternoon. (AP Photo/The Des Moines Register, Bryon Houlgrave) NO SALESThe Associated Press

An Iowa police chief says a dozen investigators are looking into whether the suspect in Monday's kidnapping of two girls is connected to last year's slaying of two cousins who vanished 90 miles away.

Authorities believe Michael Klunder kidnapped 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard and her 12-year-old friend as they walked home from school. The 12-year-old was able to escape, but Kathynn is still missing.

Evansdale Police Chief Kent Smock said Thursday that investigators are now scrutinizing Klunder in connection with the deaths of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins because of similarities in the cases.

The cousins were 10 and 8 when they disappeared while riding bikes last July. Their bodies were discovered in December.

Smock says investigators are "exploring anything and everything" about Klunder, who was found dead earlier this week.

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