Kokomo woman waiting for closure 4 years after granddaughter’s disappearance

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KOKOMO- It’s been nearly four years since Karena McClerkin went missing and to this day no one knows what happened to her. 

At the time of her disappearance she was 18. 

Gerry McClerkin is Karena’s grandmother. She wants to know what happened to her granddaughter.

“The last words I heard my granddaughter tell me when I asked her to move in with me was, ‘I’ll be okay mamaw,’” McClerkin explained. 

A missing person’s report for Karena was filed on October 12, 2016. She was last seen in the 1000 block of S. Washington St.

“She walked into a house on S Washington; the 1000 block; and she never walked out supposedly,” McClerkin said. 

In the past four years, investigators say they’ve pursued numerous leads, but they found nothing.

They believe this investigation can be resolved. They’re asking if anyone knows something say something. 

“I still see girls walking today that remind me of Karena. I will physically stop my car, back up and look at them to see if it’s her; but it’s not,” McClerkin explained.

Gerry has had many sleepless nights waiting for answers. She believes her granddaughter is dead. 

This week, a group of volunteers helped McClerkin search for Karena’s remains in local ponds.

They thought they’d found something but came up empty handed.

“My son stood up and walked away and went down on his knees. All I could do is stand there and pray, but it was just a tire and a log,” McClerkin said.

Gerry admits her granddaughter had a drug problem and ran around with the wrong people. This doesn’t mean she wasn’t important to the family. 

“She wanted to come clean. She was a good kid. She really was,” McClerkin said. 

Gerry hopes another four years doesn’t go by without any answers because the family wants closure. 

The Kokomo Police Department continues to ask for the community’s assistance in locating Karena McClerkin. Anyone with any information that they believe may be helpful in locating Karena McClerkin is asked to contact Sergeant Richard Benzinger at (765) 456-7324 or the Kokomo Police Department Hotline at (765) 456-7017. 

You may qualify for a cash reward by calling Central Indiana Crime Stoppers at 1-800-262-TIPS with your anonymous tip.

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