Bedford County Circuit Court Judge James W. Updike Jr. sentenced a man to 48 years for the murders of two young girls who disappeared from Montgomery County in 1975, according to court records.
Lloyd Lee Welch pleaded guilty to the first-degree murders he committed March 25, 1975, of sisters Sheila Mary Lyon, 12, and Katherine Mary Lyon, 10, according to court records.
Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger confirmed Welch pleaded guilty Tuesday morning, resolving a mystery that left Montgomery County residents wondering for decades.
Manger said in a statement he sympathized with the girls’ family members.
“The prayers of countless Montgomery County police officers, past and present, are with the Lyon family today,” Manger said. “Our community still grieves their loss. With this plea, we can all be assured that Lloyd Welch will never be free to victimize another child or destroy another family."
He thanked the prosecutors involved in the case.
“I am eternally grateful to the prosecutors both here and in Virginia,” Manger said. “I am grateful for the generations of cops who never stopped caring about this case, and I am most grateful for the Lyon family for their strength that inspired us all.”