- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

BEDFORD, Va. (AP) - Authorities have named a second person of interest in the 1975 disappearance of two young Maryland sisters.

Montgomery County, Maryland, Deputy Police Chief Russ Hamill said at a news conference Thursday it’s believed Richard Allen Welch Sr. was a security guard in the Wheaton, Maryland, area where 10-year-old Katherine Lyon and 12-year-old Sheila Lyon disappeared after walking for lunch to a mall.

Hamill said Welch is in his 70s.

“He is alive and we do know where he is located at this time,” Hamill said, declining to divulge any more.

Hamill said authorities are working to pinpoint where Richard Welch worked.

A search for clues has been ongoing on Taylor’s Mountain in the Thaxton area of Bedford County. Hamill said it’s believed Richard Welch owned property there. He thinks “there’s a good chance” the girls are on the mountain.

Police previously identified Welch’s nephew, Lloyd Lee Welch, 57, as a person of interest. He’s a child sex offender in a Delaware prison. Authorities had established that Lloyd Lee Welch was at the mall the day the girls vanished and was seen paying attention to them.

“We ask anybody who has any information regarding either of the Welches to contact us immediately,” Hamill said. “It’s now time for you to do the right thing - step forward and assist law enforcement to help us bring closure to this heart wrenching matter.”

Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Krantz said a grand jury will convene in the case Friday at the county courthouse and remain in session as long as necessary.

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