On October 13, 2016, Karena McClerkin told her grandmother, Gerry McClerkin, that she planned to attend a party. The same day, Gerry asked her granddaughter to move in with her.
"The last thing my granddaughter said to me – she held my hand and said, ‘I’ll be alright grandma, I’ll be alright,'” Gerry told WRTV.
According to witnesses, 18-year-old Karena attended the party in the 1000 block of South Washington Street. The last sighting of Karena was at an intersection of South Washington and Markland Avenue in Kokomo, Indiana. She has never been seen or heard from again. No one knows how she left the area or with who Karena left.
Her family reported her missing to the Kokomo Police Department, and investigators launched a search for Karena. They printed flyers, went door-to-door, conducted multiple searches for Karena, and continues to post on social media.
"Over 500 miles in and around Kokomo from Jonesboro to Burlington, Peru...We have covered every woods we've driven by. We'd stop and knock on the door to see if we can walk through their woods," Gerry told WRTV.
According to her family, Karena had a history of substance abuse. Some people close to Karena feel this could have contributed to her disappearance.
“I told her to not go down that path. That there were other, bigger things she could do with her life,” Gerry told Dateline. “She had her whole life ahead of her.”
Before she vanished, Karena wanted to remove the drug addiction from her life and get a fresh start. She filed the paperwork to check herself into a rehabilitation center in Florida.
“I just want her found. Her family wants her found. It’s tore this family to pieces. Everybody is almost went their own way. They hold it in, they don’t let it out," Gerry told WRTV.
Gerry said she will never stop looking for her granddaughter.
"Not until the day I die," she told WRTV.
There are no known suspects in the disappearance of Karena McClerkin and she has never been located.
Karena McClerkin is 5'4" and weighed 130 pounds when she vanished.
If you have any information, please contact the Kokomo Police Department at 765-457-1105.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bringkarenamcclerkinhome/