$50,000 reward offered to help find missing Kokomo teen

Karena McClerkin disappeared in Oct. 2016
Posted at 5:56 PM, Jun 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-18 09:53:31-04

KOKOMO, Ind. -- The family of a Kokomo teen missing for nearly two years has offered a $50,000 reward to help find her.

Karena McClerkin, 19, was last seen walking down the sidewalk in the 1000 block of South Washington Street on Oct. 11, 2016

"Not knowing now if she is alive and walking around or being used for other things is really hard," said James McClerkin, Karena's father.

In addition to the reward, the McClerkin family has enlisted the services of four licensed private investigators who are donating their time to help: Charlotte Kiline from Missouri, William Sowder from Michigan, John Underhill from Missouri and Scott Ianson from Kokomo. 

Scott Ianson says an inmate claims to have information about the missing teen.

"This person is currently incarcerated in the Howard County Jail. That person believes they know what happened to Karena. That is the information they are submitting to us, yes," said Ianson.

PREVIOUS | Father pleads for help to find missing daughter | One year later: The search continues for Karena McClerkin

Karena's father admits she had drug addiction issues, but he hopes the private investigators and the reward will lead to her whereabouts.

"It has to lead to a full closure on the case," said John McClerkin. "It has to be people getting sentenced. Convictions have to happen. She has to be turned up. It can't go lingering where she has gone. It has to be a closed-out case 100 percent."

Kokomo police say they are still following leads.

"We have not given up, no, not a cold case," said Capt. Brian Seldon, Kokomo Police Department. "This is not a cold case. We are actively continuing this investigation, and we are working on this investigation every day."

The private investigators believe the leads are inside the Howard County Jail.

"I've not gotten that far into the discussion with this individual to determine what their end game is. It seems they are willing to come forth with the information as long as it gets a resolution to Karena's disappearance we'll see how that plays out," said Ianson.

"Even if she has passed, we'll have peace, and we can move on as a family. At least we'll know where she's at she's safe. She is with God," said John McClerkin.

The McClerkin family said they have taken out a loan on their home to make the reward money possible.

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