Karena S. McClerkin was 18 years old when she went missing Oct. 11, 2016. A man connected to her disappearance has been arrested and charged with murder. The Kokomo Police Department now believe from a 2021 tip they know what happened leading to her vanishing, according to IndyStar. Even so, it’s been five years and she’s still missing.
McClerkin was reported missing by her mother and suspected to have been with 57-year-old Flint Farmer around the time she disappeared. Reports say the two had been together that day, Farmer purchased food and drugs and witnesses heard the two fighting inside his apartment. McClerkin’s grandmother told NBC’s Dateline in 2017 that Karena had been seeking help for substance abuse.
Before she got the chance to recover, she vanished. Per KPD, she was last sen at a residence in the 1000 block of South Washington.
More on the case form WTHR 13 News:
Gerry told “Dateline” she heard rumors her granddaughter had been killed and put in a tarp, buried in a wooded area, or thrown into a waterway. Over the years, she has lost faith her granddaughter might still be alive.
In 2018, police began reviewing phone calls made by Farmer while he was in jail between Nov. 2016 and Nov. 2018 on a dealing in a controlled substance charge. In one of the phone calls, a person allegedly told Farmer police had not found McClerkin yet and for Farmer to “keep his mouth shut and not say anything.”
Court documents allege in another phone call, Farmer told a woman to keep her mouth shut about what she saw and “they would not find a body.”
Investigators said they received new information in the fall of 2021 that shed light on what may have happened the day Karena went missing. Court documents are heavily redacted and do not show what that information might be.
According to the Kokomo Tribune, pieces of the investigation are still sealed from the public but Farmer’s arrest takes the case a significant step forward. He is currently being held at Howard County Jail without bond.
The National Crime Information Center reported almost half of reported missing persons in 2021 were Black at 177,530 reports. In 2020, they reported a third of the 300,000 missing women and girls were Black. Unfortunately in cases like these, the women are assumed to be dead before they are found and can testify against the person who abducted them.
Karena McClerkin is described to be 5’4, 130 pounds with black curly hair and brown eyes. She also has a tattoo on her right forearm.
Anyone who may have additional information is asked to contact Lieutenant Richard Benzinger at 765-456-7324, firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Kokomo Police Department Hotline at 765-456-7017.