Letter to the Editor: Kudos to police who continue to work on 42-year-old case


I submit the comments below in response to several discrepancies I have noted between two Associated Press articles appearing recently in local newspapers and information from multiple sources available on line.

There can be no doubt that the history of criminal prosecution in America is filled with cases in which racial prejudice and other forms of bias have obstructed the application of the law.

But the passing of time, which confounds the memory and often numbs the heart, can also sidetrack the best efforts of law enforcement to bring to justice those guilty of capital crimes.

On March 25, 1975, 12-year-old Shelia Mary Lyon and her 10-year-old sister, Katherine Mary, walked the half mile from their home to the Wheaton (Maryland) Plaza mall to eat and look at Easter decorations. Their parents, John and Mary Lyon, still await their return. (Neighborhood residents confirm that children then commonly walked the short distance to the mall.)

In July 2015, a multi-jurisdictional grand jury in Bedford County, Virginia, indicted Lloyd Lee “Michael” Welch Jr. on two counts of first-degree felony murder. (The felony-murder rule considers any homicide a murder if it was committed in conjunction with a felony like abduction, rape, or robbery, regardless of whether the homicide was intentional or accidental.) His trial is scheduled to begin in March. The bodies of the sisters have not been found.

As the investigation approaches its 42nd year, we remember Sheila and Katherine, their parents, family and friends. We appreciate and honor the men and women of law enforcement, who have spent thousands of hours on this case. All of these individuals form with the Lyon sisters a bond uncorroded by time.

John Clem, Edinburg