Rapist indicted for murder 40 years after girls disappear from Maryland mall

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BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – The case of two girls who were reported missing 40 years ago may be coming to a close.

In 1975, authorities say 10-year-old Katherine Lyon and 12-year-old Sheila Lyon went to a mall in Maryland to grab some food and visit an exhibit.

When they didn’t come home, a massive search effort began.

Officials received thousands of tips, but they never led to any concrete evidence.

According to CNN, the most promising lead was from a witness who reported seeing two girls bound and gagged in the back of a station wagon.

In 2014, authorities named Lloyd Lee Michael Welch Jr. and Richard Allen Welch Sr. prime suspects in the case.

On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted Lloyd Lee Michael Welch Jr. on charges of first-degree felony murder during an abduction with attempt to defile.

Authorities say Lloyd Welch is a convicted sex offender who molested young girls in several states. He admitted to being at the mall the day of the girls’ disappearances and even admitted to leaving with them.

He claimed he saw his uncle molesting the girls, but never saw them again.

Investigators are still searching for the bodies.

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