Kathlynn Shepard's Parents Announce New Effort - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Kathlynn Shepard's Parents Announce New Effort

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By: Claire Powell
Email: cpowell@myabc5.com
Twitter: clairenpowell

One month after the discovery of Kathlynn Shepard's body, the Shepard family announced they want legislation to change and will be joining an effort to improve the safety of Iowa's children.

The family gathered at Kathlynn's tree of hope and announced that they will be partnering with Chelsea's Light Foundation to increase penalties against registered sex offenders.

"I always thought, as I think most people do that, our laws protect us, our laws are there, their not going to let anything bad happen," said Mike Shepard, Kathlynn's father.

Chelsea's Light Foundation was created after a 17-year-old California girl was abducted and murdered. Chelsea's law was passed in 2010 and made the law which sex offenders must abide by, more strict.

The Shepard's are saying they want this law to be nationwide.

"It's a one–strike law that does not give the ability for release. One and you're done. We don't need to have a second victim," said Brent King, founder of Chelsea's Light Foundation.

"If we can start a law here in Iowa, that's our closure and we've joined with Brent and Chelsea's Light, we're not just looking at Iowa, that's our starting point. That's our most important goal, our closure will come when the nation has this law," said Shepard.

The next step is to approach the Iowa legislature this upcoming cycle.

"It is a national issue, as parents, as people that care about our kids, we need to become a voice of change, without your help we can't do it," said King.

For the Shepards, they know they can't have their daughter back, but they do want to try to prevent any future tragedies.

"It's just another way to know that my daughter is there, I'll always have her with me, I might not be able to hold her or see her except for pictures, but she'll always be with me," said Shepard.

http://www.change.org/petitions/kathlynns-law

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