An Indiana man was recently arrested and charged in connection with the disappearance of a teenager who has been missing since 2016.
Flint Vincent Farmer, 57, stands accused of one count of murder over the long-mysterious fate of 18-year-old Karena McClerkin, who is now presumed dead after vanishing in Kokomo, Ind. on the night of Oct. 11, 2016, after visiting a local convenience store.
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Surveillance footage from the night in question allegedly shows the defendant, his alleged victim, and a third unidentified person heading into the Village Pantry at around 10:00 p.m. and then later has the trio leaving at around 10:32 p.m., according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by Law&Crime.
“The last words I heard my granddaughter tell me when I asked her to move in with me was, ‘I’ll be okay mamaw,’” Gerry McClerkin, Karena’s grandmother previously told Indianapolis-based Fox affiliate WXIN. “She walked into a house on South Washington; the 1000 block; and she never walked out supposedly.”
Farmer was arrested on Monday, July 18, 2022.
On Wednesday morning, police in Kokomo held a press conference to announce that skeletal remains believed to belong to McClerkin were discovered the day before in a rural part of nearby Miami County, Ind. The family of the presumed-deceased woman has since been notified and those remains have been sent to Fort Wayne for testing to confirm the identity, Kokomo Police Chief Doug Stout said.
“As you can imagine, we’re all very hopeful in the identification process and hope to be able to come to a conclusion in this ongoing investigation for all the family and friends who have been grieving since 2016,” the chief added.
Additional arrests are expected, Stout said, while “respectfully” asking people to stop posting online about the case because “most of the social media posts have not been truthful and have greatly hindered this investigation and the investigative efforts along the way.”
As the press conference ended, McClerkin’s grandmother questioned and criticized the police department’s efforts in the case. You can watch that moment around the 8:40 mark in the video below:
“You didn’t contact her father and yet you stand up there and tell everybody in Kokomo that you found my granddaughter,” she said, her voice rising with anger. “You’re not right. You’re wrong. We searched for that girl. Nobody else did. Y’all kiss my fucking ass.”
Police in Kokomo have reportedly long had Farmer on their radar – with authorities now saying the residence thought to be a house was actually the defendant’s then-apartment. Two days after McClerkin disappeared, her mother told police that McClerkin had been at Farmer’s apartment the last night she was seen alive.
Other witnesses relayed a similar story.
One person told police that not only was McClerkin seen at Farmer’s apartment on the night of her disappearance but that they later heard sounds described as Farmer “wrestling” with a woman. Another witness told police they heard the sound of a woman “being hurt.”
Police followed up but couldn’t locate the missing girl inside the apartment, court documents say. During that visit, Farmer allegedly told law enforcement McClerkin had indeed been in a nearby alley that night but that she never actually came inside.
Other pieces of information linking the defendant to McClerkin would surface soon after the vanishing.
On Oct. 17, 2016, McClerkin’s mother told police she had recorded a phone conversation with someone who said her daughter had stolen around $600 from Farmer’s safe. Another witness told police McClerkin and Farmer were partners in a Xanax-selling enterprise.
Additional evidence against the defendant came from jailhouse phone calls he made to several different individuals while serving time on a drug charge. Farmer was incarcerated in the Howard County Jail in November 2016 and allegedly made a series of references to “the body of the missing girl” and similar iterations of that phrase.
“I think they found the body of that girl, but they’re really trying to get me for everything,” Farmer allegedly said in one phone call dated Nov. 18, 2016. “You need to get ahold of [redacted]. Brace yourself, okay? It’s getting ready to get real ugly.”
“[S]tick to your guns,” Farmer allegedly said in one such call. “Keep your mouth shut.”
In another phone call, the defendant allegedly threatened a woman to keep her own silence, telling her that “they would not find a body,” lest she meet the same fate as McClerkin and “end up with her.”
Karena McClerkin’s father spoke with Indianapolis-based ABC affiliate WRTV on Wednesday.
“It was real,” James McClerkin said. “She was never coming home. I’m supposed to be grateful that we are getting somewhere [in] this case. An arrest has been made, but she was still robbed of her own time.”
[Image via WRTV screengrab, Kokomo Police Department]
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