39 Years After Sisters Vanish, Property Searched

Police examining Va. land for clues about Sheila and Katherine Lyon
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2014 11:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – Sheila Lyon, 12, and her 10-year-old sister, Katherine, disappeared almost 40 years ago while walking to a shopping mall near their Maryland home. The case went cold until earlier this year, when a former carnival worker, Lloyd Lee Welch, was named a person of interest in their 1975 disappearance—and now police are searching a Virginia property once owned by Welch's aunt and uncle in the hopes of finding clues about the girls, who were never found, My Fox DC reports.

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Welch "has criminal convictions involving young female victims in the states of Virginia, Delaware, and South Carolina," according to the Montgomery County police chief, and detectives have been tracking his movements before he was imprisoned in 1997. A resident of Thaxton, Va., where police are currently searching, tells My Fox DC her father recalls Welch and "thought maybe he wasn't right in the head." What exactly spurred police to start scouring the Thaxton property is unknown. They're focusing on an area "where the old cemetery [in the woods] is," the resident says. "You can't see it from the road." Welch, who was denied early release last month in Delaware, has a release date of June 2026, the Washington Post reports. (Read more Lyon sisters stories.)

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