Where Is Missing Indiana Teen Karena McClerkin?

Whenever Gerry McClerkin would drop her granddaughter off anywhere, they’d hold hands.

“I didn’t get to see her all the time, but when I did and we said goodbye, we’d both cry almost every time,” Gerry told Dateline. “When I think about the last time I said goodbye to her, it’s even more heartbreaking now.”

That heartbreak stems from the terrifying fact Karena has not been seen or heard from in more than five months.

Karena, 18, was reported missing on October 13, 2016. The events leading to her disappearance are a bit foggy, but it’s believed that Karena was picked up from mother’s home to spend time with friends at a residence in Kokomo, Indiana.

Things had been rough in Karena’s life, her grandmother Gerry told Dateline. The quiet teen had been living with her father for a few years, but after they moved to another town, Karena began acting out, Gerry says. She eventually landed back in Kokomo, living with her mother.

Somewhere down the line, Karena began dealing with a number of substance abuse issues. Her grandmother remembers seeing her hanging out with an older crowd, and she was concerned for her granddaughter’s future.

“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.”

Karena appeared to be heeding her grandmother’s advice. She had spoken about the possibility of going to a rehabilitation facility in Florida that a girl she knew had told her about. She had begun filling out the paper work.

But then she disappeared.

The rumors and speculation began almost immediately.

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Source: NBC News | Rachael Trost