Search continues for 15-year-old who disappeared on her way to school
WAUKESHA - The Waukesha Sheriff's Department wrapped up its second news conference of the day on Thursday evening, telling the media they found a crucial piece of evidence.
The bicycle that 15 year old Kathryn Stalbaum told a friend she'd be riding to school Tuesday morning after missing the bus, has been found.
Deputies got a call from someone who located it Thursday afternoon.
Inspector Eric Severson would not say where the bicycle was located, but he did say it appeared to have been abandoned fairly recently.
Stalbaum has not been heard from since Tuesday morning.
"We don't know what happened to Kathryn. I don't know if she left voluntarily. I don't know if she's left against her will," said Eric Severson, inspector for the Waukesha County sheriff's department.
The Waukesha County sheriff's department dive team spent hours searching a retention pond at the Wales Community Park where Kathryn often rode her bicycle. It is located between her home and her school, Kettle Moraine High School.
Deputies say they didn't find anything in the pond related to the teenager's disappearance.
The story has parents in the towns of Wales and Genessee concerned, but deputies say at this point, they don't know whether there's reason for anyone to be alarmed. He does encourage caution and vigilance.
"I don't have any evidence to believe this is the result of a stalker targeting teenaged girls.. We're still trying to figure out what happened. There is still a chance that Kathryn has left on her own," said Severson.
Deputies plan to be out searching all night for any clues. He encourages the public to familiarize themselves with Kathryn's picture. It's available on our website. Waukesha County deputies currently have a 24 hour hotline staffed for tips. It's 262-446-5090
Michele Fiore, Jonah Kaplan, Jaclyn Brandt, and James Kust contributed to this story.