Woman Accused of Lying in 1975 Missing Girls Case

Patricia Welch charged with perjury regarding Lyon sisters' disappearance 39 years ago
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2014 12:25 PM CST
Woman Accused of Lying in 1975 Missing Girls Case
This handout image provided by the Montgomery County Police shows the original missing persons/suspicious circumstances bulletin for the 1975 disappearance of Sheila Lyon and Katherine Lyon.   (AP Photo/Montgomery County, Md., Police Department)

Somewhere on a plot of land in Thaxton, Va., police believe there may be clues to the whereabouts of Sheila and Katherine Lyon, two Maryland sisters who disappeared nearly 40 years ago. They also think the members of a family that has owned that property are not being entirely forthcoming about what they may know. Patricia Welch, 65, was charged with perjury Friday for lying to the grand jury looking into the case of Sheila, 12, and Katherine, 10, the Washington Post reports. While neither Patricia's husband, Richard Welch, nor her nephew, Lloyd Welch, have been charged in the case, they've both been labeled "persons of interest," and Patricia's alleged perjury seems to simply be one of a continuing set of roadblocks the Welches have erected. "It’s frustrating the lengths to which this family goes to keep us from the truth," a Montgomery County police commander said Saturday.

Although the grand jury proceedings aren't public, a reporter saw several witnesses—including Patricia Welch—enter the grand jury meeting room on Friday. When she later emerged, she was escorted to a courthouse break room, then handcuffed about 45 minutes later by sheriff's deputies. Although no one's revealing what she allegedly lied about, her warrant says she "willingly spoke falsely 'regarding a material matter while under oath,'" a Class 5 felony that could earn her up to 10 years in prison, the Post notes. She was released on bond Friday night and has declined to comment. Meanwhile, other Welch family members are convinced the police are simply trying to "get our family fighting over who said what," according to a previous interview with a Tennessee relative. Click for more on Lloyd Welch. (More Lyon sisters stories.)

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