Michael Klunder: Sex offender suspected of abducting 2 girls found dead; 1 girl safe, 1 still missing, Iowa police say

Michael Klunder

(CBS/AP) DAYTON, Iowa - Authorities say a convicted sex offender who was suspected of abducting two girls from an Iowa bus stop Monday 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 remains under investigation.

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.

The search for Shepard has reportedly been expanded to 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.

The 12-year-old, 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.

Authorities have not released a lot of information about Klunder, but noted he resided and worked in the area.