42 Years After Sisters Vanished, a Guilty Plea

Case of two young sisters murdered in Maryland had been cold for decades
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2017 8:52 AM CDT
42 Years After Sisters Vanished, a Guilty Plea
Katherine and Sheila Lyon   (Montgomery County Police)

More than 40 years after the disappearance of two young girls shocked a suburban Maryland community, one of the men believed responsible is set to plead guilty. On Sept. 12, Lloyd Lee Welch, 60, is expected to enter a guilty plea in a court in rural Bedford County, Virginia, for the 1975 disappearance and murder of two sisters. Katherine and Sheila Lyon were 10 and 12, respectively, when they disappeared from a shopping mall in Wheaton, Maryland, the Washington Post reports. After a massive search and investigation, the case went cold; the sisters' bodies were never found. But in 2013, investigators started to focus their attention on Welch, a career criminal serving time in Delaware for the sexual assault of a minor.

Welch was spotted "paying attention" to the girls, and according to police affidavits, said he left the mall with the girls but says that after he spotted his uncle sexually assaulting one, never saw them again. What police now believe happened: that Welch and several accomplices kidnapped the two girls and held them captive in Maryland, sexually assaulting them and then murdering them, after which they believe Welch burned some of their remains on his family property in Bedford County. In 2015 Welch was indicted on two counts of murder, but police have thus far been unable to get enough evidence to charge anyone else for the crime. If convicted, Welch would likely spend the rest of his life in prison. (More Maryland stories.)

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