Lloyd Welch, a convicted child sex offender, told cops recently that he left a Maryland mall with the Lyon sisters on the day they vanished more than 40 years ago.
The Inquisitr reported last week that Welch had been named as a person of interest in the 1975 case involving missing 12-year-old Sheila Lyon and her sister, 10-year-old Katherine, who disappeared without a trace. The girls were last seen eating pizza at Wheaton Plaza Mall in suburban Washington, D.C., on March 25, 1975.
According to the Washington Post, the disappearance of the Lyon sisters has been one of the Washington areas most “painful” unsolved crimes. Now, detectives finally have hope that they can bring some closure to the Lyon family, who has lived the nightmare of the girl’s disappearance for decades.
In the past year, police have have been focusing their attention on Welch, 58 and his uncle Richard, 69. Fox News reports that Welch told cops he was with the Lyon sisters on the day of their disappearance, and that he saw his uncle sexually assaulting one of the girls the next day.
Lloyd Welch, who was 18 at the time of the kidnapping, told a mall security guard that he had seen the Lyon sisters leaving the mall with a man. He repeated the story to the police, and was given a polygraph, which indicated he was lying. However, with nothing conclusive to go on, the interview transcript and polygraph results were put into a file, where cold case detectives found them nearly 40 years later while searching for new leads in the case.
According to newly released search warrant affidavits, Welch was interviewed in a Delaware prison, where he is currently serving a 30-year sentence for the sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl in 1998. The affidavits state that he admitted to cold case detectives he left the mall in a vehicle with the Lyon sisters on the day they went missing.
Welch claims that his uncle Richard Welch was also involved in the girls’ kidnapping, and that his 10-year old cousin, Thomas Welch, was with them when they took the sisters from the mall. He says that after he was dropped off at his home, his uncle and cousin drove off with the girls.
However, Welch denies any involvement in the Lyon sisters’ disappearance. He told detectives that he went to his uncle’s home the next day and saw him sexually molesting one of the girls, but claims that he left the residence and never saw either of the sisters again.
Welch and his uncle were named persons of interest in the case in 2014, but as of now, neither of them has been charged. However, Richard Welch’s wife was charged with lying to a Virginia grand jury investigating the disappearance.
In January, 2015, authorities announced at a press conference that they had found bones buried on land in rural Virginia owned by Richard Welch and his sister, but they did not confirm if the bones belonged to the Lyon sisters.
Police have declined to comment on the affidavits, but Montgomery Police Chief Tom Manger told the Washington Post Friday that investigators are determined to find out what really happened to the girls.
[Image via Fox News]