Cops Dig for Sisters Lost in 1975 Cold Case

Sheila and Katherine Lyon disappearance remains unsolved
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2015 6:15 PM CDT
40 Years Later, Cops Go Looking for Girls' Remains
This undated photo provided by the Bedford County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Department shows Richard Allen Welch Sr.   (AP Photo/Bedford County Sheriff’s Department)

Investigators armed with fresh leads have gone digging for the bodies of two young girls who went missing long ago, the Washington Post reports. Sheila and Katherine Lyon vanished 40 years ago this week—on March 25, 1975—at a shopping mall in suburban Maryland. But investigators have kept looking, scouring Taylor's Mountain in Bedford County, Virginia, in recent months and uncovering evidence including bones, the Roanoke Times reports. Now, the Bedford Sheriff's Office says, "additional leads" developed through "investigative interviews" have prompted more digging. The case got media attention last month when court documents stated that Lloyd Welch, 58, a convicted sex offender, had linked the abduction to his 69-year-old uncle Richard, a property owner on Taylor's Mountain, the Huffington Post reports.

Lloyd apparently said he'd joined Richard and a cousin in abducting the girls by car, and saw Richard having "intercourse with one of the Lyon sisters" the next day; but Lloyd said he "never saw the Lyon sisters again" and didn't help in "killing those girls." No one's been charged, but a search warrant says Lloyd told a fellow Delaware inmate that he'd abducted Sheila, 12, and Katherine, 10, before burying them in Virginia on property owned by the family. (Lloyd is serving time for the sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl.) During the January dig, the Post reported, a sheriff said investigators would "be as tenacious as humanly possible, with the target of locating these children, and providing the parents closure in this nightmare that no parent should be forced to endure." (Read about a woman accused of lying in the case.)

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