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& HEARTSTRING THEORY The Gazette Versatile performer views love on a scientific plane. B-5 GAITHERSBURG | MONTGOMERY VILLAGE DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Gaithersburg ends year with $14M surplus n Ripple effect of state and county budget struggles will likely affect city’s finances 25 cents Cold case has a new lead CHIEF IDENTIFIES CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER WHO MAY HAVE HAD CONTACT WITH LYON SISTERS, MISSING SINCE 1975 Sheila (left) and Katherine Lyon of Kensington went missing 38 years ago at Wheaton Plaza. BY JENN DAVIS STAFF WRITER Gaithersburg wrapped up the fiscal 2013 budget year with a $14 million surplus after spending less and earning more than expected. The city is in an excellent financial position, City Manager Tony Tomasello told the City Council and the public at the Gaithersburg’s budget forum Monday evening. Tomasello and acting Director of Finance and Administration Tina Smith reported that the city’s expenses came in nearly $5.8 million under budget for fiscal 2013. The city collected about $7.7 million more revenue than expected. “Clearly, we are in a remarkably strong financial position,” Tomasello said. “I don’t think I See CITY, Page A-12 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, a person of interest in the missing persons case of the Lyon sisters from 1975. At left is Steve Vogt, a special agent with the FBI. Ledecky breaks record 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. Katie Ledecky, a junior at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, 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 hoarded around her on occasion in between her events — ultimately Stone Ridge coach Robert Walker escorted them 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-12 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 press 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 Automotive Business Calendar Classified Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please 1975 case in which two girls disappeared shattered sense of safety n AND BY SARAH SCULLY ST. JOHN BARNED-SMITH 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 the 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 See SAFETY, Page A-12 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 someone, we would have done it,” Manger said. According to police, witnesses from that day told investigators they saw Welch “paying See CASE, Page A-12 B-15 A-13 A-2 B-11 B-5 A-16 A-14 B-1 RECYCLE Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906243

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