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Incarcerated Man Person of Interest in 1975 Disappearance of Montgomery Co Sisters [POLICE PRESSER]

Updated: Tuesday, February 11 2014, 02:23 PM EST

Police have a person of interest in the case of two Maryland sisters who disappeared nearly 40 years ago after leaving their home on March 25, 1975 and walking to nearby Wheaton Plaza (now Westfield Wheaton). The person of interest is 57-year-old Lloyd Lee Welch, also known as Michael Welch.

Welch, who was 18-years-old at the time of the sisters' disappearance, has been incarcerated in Delaware since 1997 as a convicted child sex offender.

Investigators have determined that Welch was at Wheaton Plaza on the same day 12-year-old Sheila Lyon and her 10-year-old sister Katherine disappeared and may have had contact with the girls. They say he spent time in eight states between 1974 and 1997 and was also arrested in the 1970s for a burglary in Montgomery County near Wheaton Plaza.

"He was known to hitchhike around the DC area, spending a lot of time in Silver Spring and Wheaton," police said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Police say Welch has multiple criminal convictions involving young female victims in states including Virginia, Delaware and South Carolina. According to police Welch was employed as a ride operator at a carnival that traveled through various locations through the United States, often setting up at shopping malls.

Police are asking anyone who has any information about Welch to come forward and contact law enforcement. Police are also looking for anyone who may have known or had contact with Helen Craver, now deceased, who they say was Welch's girlfriend.

"We understand we're asking people to think back several decades to remember details they may not think matter," Steve Vogt, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Maryland said. "However, the information you provide could be vital in our search for evidence, and put to rest difficult questions for the Lyon family and for any other victims who may exist."

Anyone who may have encountered Michael Welch is asked to call investigators at 1-800-CALL-FBI, or they can submit a tip online at:

Incarcerated Man Person of Interest in 1975 Disappearance of Montgomery Co Sisters [POLICE PRESSER]

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