Skeletal remains ID'd as Karena McClerkin

·3 min read

Aug. 5—Nearly six years after she went missing and just days after a man was arrested for murder in connection with her disappearance, 18-year-old Karena McClerkin will finally be able to come home to rest.

Friday morning, law enforcement positively identified skeletal remains — located in rural Miami County last month — as those of the missing teenager, according to a Kokomo Police Department media release.

The discovery of those remains came just a day after the July 18 arrest of Flint Vincent Farmer, 57, on a Level 1 felony charge of murder.

According to information highlighted in a probable cause affidavit filed through the Howard County Clerk's Office, McClerkin was dropped off at Farmer's residence in the 1000 block of South Washington Street on Oct. 11, 2016, just two days before she was reported missing.

Over the next three years, detectives continued to speak with witnesses and comb through additional evidence related to McClerkin's disappearance.

Then, in August 2021, police obtained what they called "additional information" in connection to the case, but they did not indicate what that additional information was or how it related to Farmer's arrest last month.

But then came more evidence last month.

The day after Farmer was arrested, police held a press conference inside City Hall's council chambers, where they announced the discovery of the remains in Miami County.

And while authorities have not yet addressed what led them to the search and discovery of those remains, an autopsy was performed July 22 by a forensic pathologist under direction of the Howard County Coroner's Office, which determined those remains to be human.

The Indiana State Police Laboratory was then requested to examine evidence and positively identify the remains, the release noted, which were eventually determined to be the remains of McClerkin.

Officials note the cause and manner of her death are still being examined at this time.

News that authorities have now confirmed McClerkin's death traveled quickly across social media Friday afternoon, with many individuals offering tributes and leaving condolences for the family.

The Tribune reached out to members of the McClerkin family Friday, but they could not reached for comment.

In a Facebook comment written shortly after the news was made public, Karen's grandmother, Gerry McClerkin, asked for prayers for her family, specifically for her son and Karena's siblings.

The comment was met with dozens of well-wishes from people throughout the community.

"Sending you and your family so much love and prayers," one woman wrote. "You have fought for so long. The strength you have shown is admirable."

Another woman stated, "Prayers for comfort and for the grieving process to begin so that you can have the closure you deserve."

As for the case's next steps, Farmer is currently being held without bond in the Howard County Jail.

He has a pretrial conference at 9 a.m. Nov. 15.

There is also the further examination report surrounding the autopsy results, which should provide a definitive answer as to how McClerkin died.

If you have any additional information that can aid police in this investigation, you are asked to contact Lt. Richard Benzinger at 765-456-7324 or the KPD Hotline at 765-456-7017. You can also contact Central Indiana Crime Stoppers at 1-800-262-TIPS.

Anonymous tips can also be provided via text message by typing "TIPKPD" to 847411. You can also download the "Kokomo PD" app for free on Google Play Store or the ITunes Store.