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& HEARTSTRING THEORY The Gazette Versatile performer views love on a scientific plane. A-11 DAMASCUS | CLARKSBURG DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Committees vote to scale back Pulte housing plan Wednesday, February 12, 2014 25 cents a new lead Cold case has CHIEF IDENTIFIES CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER WHO MAY HAVE HAD CONTACT WITH LYON SISTERS BEFORE THEY VANISHED Sheila (left) and Katherine Lyon of Kensington went missing at Wheaton Plaza in 1975. Council decision also allows limited development on Miles-Coppola, Egan sites n BY VIRGINIA TERHUNE STAFF WRITER Five of the County Council’s nine members voted Tuesday to cut the Pulte Homes proposal to build 1,000 homes in the Ten Mile Creek watershed west of Interstate 270 in Clarksburg to 538 homes — equal to a 6 percent cap on impervious surfaces. The members also voted to place a impervious surface cap of 15 percent on the Miles-Coppola site, where the Peterson Cos. has proposed a Tanger fashion outlet center. See VOTE, Page A-7 BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE Katie Ledecky, of Stone Ridge, laps the other swimmers in the girls 500-yard freestyle in the Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming Championships on Saturday in Germantown. DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE At a news conference Tuesday in Rockville, Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger points to a police mug shot of Lloyd Lee Welch, who police think may have been in contact with the Lyon sisters before they disappeared in 1975 in Wheaton. At left is Steve Vogt, a special agent with the FBI. Ledecky breaks mark at Metros BY ‘These things don’t happen, we thought, in Montgomery County’ STAFF WRITER Stone Ridge junior becomes first woman to swim 500-yard freestyle in less than 4 minutes, 30 seconds n BY JENNIFER BEEKMAN STAFF WRITER The few minutes between the end of warmups and the start of a swimming championship is usually a time when swimmers focus inward, get themselves in the right frame of mind for the upcoming competition. Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart junior Katie Ledecky spent those moments at Saturday’s Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming and Diving championships signing autographs for and taking pictures with young fans who approached her on the Germantown Indoor Swim center pool deck. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist didn’t even turn away admirers that horded around her on occasion in between her events — ultimately Stone Ridge coach Robert Walker escorted them away until after the meet — and when everything ST. JOHN BARNED-SMITH Montgomery County police are hoping to find out more about Lloyd Lee Welch, a convicted sex offender, and his possible connection to the disappearance of Sheila and Katherine Lyon almost 39 years ago from Wheaton Plaza. Police say they have confirmed he was at the mall the day the girls disappeared. See LEDECKY, Page A-7 Police shed new light on an almost 39-year-old missing person case Tuesday when they identified a convicted sex offender they believe may have had contact with two Kensington girls the day they disappeared. The girls, Sheila and Katherine Lyon, ages 12 and 10, walked to Wheaton Plaza, as it was known at the time, for lunch on March 25, 1975, and vanished. At a news conference Tuesday, Montgomery County police identified 57-year-old Lloyd Lee Welch, a convicted sex offender, and said they have confirmed he was at the mall the day the girls disappeared. Investigators have traveled to Delaware, where Welch is serving a prison sentence for raping young girls, to talk to him, Assistant Police Chief Russell Hamill said. Chief J. Thomas Manger declined to comment on how those interviews have gone and what police have learned in them. Welch has served jail time for SPORTS A TWEET LASTS FOREVER Social media is here to stay as a part of high school students’ lives, for better or worse. B-1 1975 case in which two girls disappeared shattered sense of safety n AND STAFF WRITERS The story of a disappearance almost 39 years ago has haunted Montgomery County, resurfacing periodically with remembrances or potential leads to a still unsolved crime. Two young girls walking a half-mile to Wheaton Plaza were never seen again. On March 25, 1975, the Lyon sisters went to the mall for pizza and window shopping. They vanished, shattering a sense of safety that made it common for kids to walk to the local mall un- See CASE, Page A-7 multiple convictions of sexual offenses and raping young girls in Virginia, South Carolina and Delaware, Manger said. He has not been charged in connection with the Lyons’ case. “If we were able to charge Automotive Business Calendar Classified Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please BY SARAH SCULLY ST. JOHN BARNED-SMITH RECYCLE someone, we would have done it,” Manger said. According to police, witnesses from that day told investigators they saw Welch “paying See LEAD, Page A-7 B-13 B-5 A-2 B-9 A-11 A-8 B-6 B-1 Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906243

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