UPDATE: Officials turn investigation to Hyattsville resident in Lyon sisters’ disappearance
BY CAROLINE SELLE — Hyattsville resident Richard Allen Welch Sr. remains a person of interest in the Lyon sisters investigation, officials said today during a press conference in Bedford County, Va. Describing the updates as a “shift in the investigation,” officials said are taking steps to investigate and prosecute anyone involved in the girls’ disappearance or subsequent coverups of the facts.
Prince George’s County was among the many jurisdictions, agencies and organizations thanked by law enforcement officials Thursday.
Yesterday, July 15, officials announced that former Hyattsville resident Lloyd Lee Welch Jr. was indicted on two counts of first degree felony murder in the kidnapping and killing of 10-year-old Katherine and 12-year-old Sheila Lyon in 1975.
Lloyd Welch told investigators that not only were the girls taken so that he and Richard Welch could sexually exploit them, but that he watched his uncle and City of Hyattsville resident Richard Welch sexually assault one of the girls. The convicted sex offender lived with family in Hyattsville for a short time during his childhood. Officials have not said whether they believe those statements to be credible but did say they are not relying solely on his statements for the investigation.
Property records show Richard and Patricia Welch purchased their current Hyattsville home in 1985.
“Richard Welch remains a primary focus of this investigation now that Lloyd Welch has been charged,” said Bedford County Commonwealth Attorney Randy Krantz.
Patricia Welch, wife of Richard Welch, was also named as one of investigators’ focuses in the case. She was indicted on felony perjury charges for allegedly providing false statements to the grand jury hearing evidence in the case in July 2015.
Officials also said that they believe there is an ongoing conspiracy to cover up the facts.
“There are people throwing us roadblocks that are leading us in the wrong direction,” said a member of the Montgomery County police.
“Any of those who aided Lloyd Welch also could have criminal culpability,” said Krantz.
Krantz asked anyone with information related to the girls’ disappearance or coverups thereafter to come forward and speak with police. He asked the public to recognize that some of those with information might have been children in 1975 and therefore not in a position to speak.
Officials said anyone with information can email email@example.com.