MIAMI COUNTY — Kokomo Police say human remains found last month in a rural area of Miami County have been positively identified as those of a Kokomo woman missing since 2016.
On Friday, the Indiana State Police Laboratory presented a Certificate of Analysis that made a positive DNA identification of the recovered body as being that of Karena McClerkin.
McClerkin was 18-years-old when she was reported missing in October 2016.
On July 19, police announced Farmer's arrest and the discovery of skeltal remains during a press conference.
On July 18, 2022, Flint Farmer, 57, of Kokomo was arrested. He faces one count of murder, according to online court records.
Police say McClerkin's family has been notified of the positive identification.
Investigators have followed up on numerous leads throughout the investigation. They received additional information about McClerkin's disappearance in the fall of 2021.
After Farmer was arrested, McClerkin's family says this begins a new chapter of pain and healing.
"It was real. She was never coming home," James McClerkin, her father, said. "I'm supposed to be grateful that we are getting somewhere this case. An arrest has been made, but she was still robbed of her own time."
For almost six years, the McClerkin has tirelessly worked to bring Karena home, pleading with the community for answers.
Karena is a sister, an aunt, a daughter and a granddaughter. Her three-year-old niece is named after her.
Karena's grandmother Gerry McClerkin is one of the loudest voices.
"My heart's gone. It's gone," Gerry said. She has kept pictures of her granddaughter on her dashboard.
"It's going to stay until she's put to rest and it might stay a little bit longer after that," she said. "She'll never know her little brother. She's got a niece she'll never know and she's named after her."
The specific cause and manner of death is still being examined and a report is pending by the Miami County Coroner’s Office and forensic scientists.
Police say the investigation remains active and anyone with additional information is asked to contact Lieutenant Richard Benzinger at 765-456-7324 or the Kokomo Police Department Hotline at (765) 456-7017.
Anonymous tips can also be provided via text message to 847411 and begin the text message with the keyword TIPKPD.
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