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FBI names person of interest in disappearance of sisters from 1975

The FBI announced today that it has identified a person of interest in the 1975 disappearance of two girls from a Washington suburb.

The FBI’s Baltimore Division has been working with the Montgomery County (Md.) Police Department Cold Case Squad.

They identified the man and provided a timeline of his whereabouts from Jan. 1, 1974 to present, which includes time in Prince William County in 1995 and 1996.

That timeframe includes the period for three unsolved cases from the Fredericksburg region, including the so-called Route 29 Stalker case. The name 29 Stalker was given to an unknown in a pickup truck who traveled the area between Fairfax County and Charlottesville–primarily along U.S. 29– pulling women over, claiming they were having car troubles.

Alicia Showalter Reynolds, 25, was the only woman believed to have been harmed by the unidentified man. She was abducted along U.S. 29 in Culpeper County on March 2, 1996. Her remains were found two months later.

Julie Williams and Laura “Lollie” Winans were killed at their campsite in Shenandoah National Park in May 1996.

The FBI is looking for other possible victims related to the 1975 disappearance of the two girls from suburban Maryland.

Below are the details and the timeline from the FBI.

Person of Interest Named in Kidnapping of Lyon Sisters; Other  Victims Sought

The Montgomery County Police Department Cold Case Squad and FBI agents in the Baltimore Division have named a person of interest in the disappearance of sisters Sheila and Katherine Lyon from a popular suburban Washington, D.C. shopping center in 1975. Investigators say Lloyd Lee Welch, (date of birth December 30, 1956), aka Michael Welch, pictured below, was noticed paying attention to the sisters the afternoon they disappeared.

Baltimore Lloyd Lee Welch 2/11 01 Baltimore Lloyd Lee Welch 2/11 02

Sheila and Katherine, pictured below, were last seen just after 2 p.m., walking between Wheaton Plaza (now Westfield Wheaton) and their home, only half a mile away. Their mother told them to be home by 4 that afternoon, but they never returned. They disappeared without a trace and have not been heard from since.

Baltimore Sheila Lyon 2/11 Baltimore Katherine Lyon 2/11
Sheila Lyon Katherine Lyon

Welch, a convicted sex offender, has been in prison in Delaware since 1997. He traveled extensively throughout the U.S. from the 70s through the mid-90s. Welch worked as a ride operator for a carnival company, often set up at malls. He was arrested in several states on charges of sexual offenses against young girls. There may be victims who have not come forward.

“We understand we’re asking people to think back several decades to remember details they may not think matter. However, the information you provide could be vital in our search for evidence and put to rest difficult questions for the Lyon family and for any other victims who may exist,” said Steve Vogt, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Maryland.

“We have all been haunted by the disappearance of the Lyon sisters. Even though so much time has passed, we have not forgotten that those young girls deserve justice, and their family deserves closure. We’re hoping one of you has information that will help us provide both,” said Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger.

Below is a timeline of Welch’s known whereabouts.

Date Location
January 9, 1974 Austin, Texas
March 25, 1975 Wheaton Plaza in Wheaton, Maryland
April 1, 1975 Address of 4714 Baltimore Avenue in Hyattsville, Maryland, provided to law enforcement
April 9, 1977 Takoma Park, Maryland
November 1977 Address of 1825 Main St. in Orlando, Florida, provided to law enforcemet
November 24, 1977 Montgomery County, Maryland
March 13, 1980 North Miami Beach, Florida
September 15, 1981 Hyattsville, Maryland
April 15, 1982 to September 11, 1984 Incarcerated (Maryland)
March 18, 1987 Los Angeles, California
April 27, 1987 Sioux City, Iowa
January 13, 1988 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
February 4, 1988 Sioux City, Iowa
December 20, 1988 Horry County, South Carolina
March 17, 1989 Horry County, South Carolina
September 1992 Lockhart, South Carolina
November 16, 1992 Clover, South Carolina
May 19, 1993 Union County, South Carolina
May 31, 1994 Union County, South Carolina
June 13, 1994 Baltimore, Maryland
June 21, 1994 Address of Road 3, Box 86 in Bedford, Pennsylvania, provided to law enforcement
July 13, 1994 Address of 1800 Elmerton Avenue in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, provided for sex offender registry
1995 Prince William County, Virginia
June 1996 Address of 2242 Sussex Court in Woodbridge, Virginia, provided to law enforcement
March 1997 New Castle County, Delaware
July 1997 to Present Incarcerated (Delaware)


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