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2 months ago

News Source: thehour.com
Arrest Made In 33-year-old Cold Case Murder Of Kathleen Flynn, 11
arrest norwalk connection

Arrest Made In Norwalk Cold Case Murder Of Kathleen Flynn, 11

Norwalk_082400_ Fourth grade school photo of Kathleen Marie Flynn who was raped and murdered in 1986 while walking home from school. contributed photo

Norwalk_082400_ Fourth grade school photo of Kathleen Marie Flynn who was raped and murdered in 1986 while walking home from school. contributed photo

Norwalk_082400_ Fourth grade school photo of Kathleen Marie Flynn who was raped and murdered in 1986 while walking home from school. contributed photo

Norwalk_082400_ Fourth grade school photo of Kathleen Marie Flynn who was raped and murdered in 1986 while walking home from school. contributed photo

NORWALK — A Maine man has been arrested in connection with the 1986 sexual assault and murder of an 11-year-old Norwalk schoolgirl.

Norwalk police said 53-year-old Marc Karun was arrested by a tactical team on a fugitive from justice warrant around 11 a.m. Tuesday as he left his home in Stetson, Maine.

Authorities have confirmed that the arrest was related to the sexual assault and murder of sixth-grader Kathleen Flynn.

According to Maine's sex offender registry, Karun was convicted of a sexual assault in Connecticut in 1989. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and became a lifetime registrant on the registry. He was also convicted on felony burglary and larceny charges in Connecticut in 1997.

According to public records, Karun was raised in Norwalk and continued living in the city until at least 2011, in apartments on Princes Pine Road in West Norwalk and Van Zant Street in East Norwalk. He is also listed as having Connecticut residences in Manchester, Rocky Hill and Shelton before moving to Maine in 2012.

Maine state police helped the Norwalk Police Department in Karun's arrest. Karun is being held at the Penobscot County Jail in Maine until his terms of extradition are determined. He is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow.

Kathleen Flynn’s family released a statement Wednesday, requesting privacy while also expressing relief that an arrest was made.

“We wish to thank the Norwalk Police Department for bringing Kathleen’s murderer to justice,” the statement read. “This continues to be a very difficult time for us and we do not wish to make any further comments.”

Kathleen was reported missing by her mother at 5:12 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 1986, after she did not arrive home after school. The mother had driven to the school looking for her two hours earlier, checking nearby neighborhoods and all along the route she usually took home.

Kathleen normally walked home from school using a path that leads to Hunters Lane and then to Fillow Street.

Several of Kathleen’s friends were contacted that day, and one or two said they last saw the girl walking toward the path by some tennis courts a few minutes after school ended.

Teams of searchers scoured the woods on both sides of the path. Eventually, Kathleen’s body was found in a secluded area more than 100 feet off the path. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death.

Over the years, police have received numerous tips about possible suspects, some with vague descriptions and some as mere hunches. Some descriptions were fabricated by people who thought it would help the investigation.

A flyer was produced at one point with composite sketches of three white men with long, dirty hair in a green vehicle with New York license plates that was seen outside the school. It’s possible the car was not involved in the Flynn case, but rather a group of teenagers that borrowed the car and took off when a teacher approached the vehicle.

The unexpected murder in a quiet neighborhood beset the city with a sense of paranoia and fear that only grew the longer the case remained unsolved.

“I think a lot of people were scared by it, as far as it was so off the normal reality to have this happen to a school child walking home in the afternoon,” Norwalk police Lt. Arthur Weisgerber told ABC 7 of New York in 2016.

In an interview with the Hartford Courant in 2000, the Flynn family said police told them that there was a suspect in the murder, and that they still longed for some semblance of closure.

“I think that would help with a little bit of wondering, the who. The why, I don’t think we’ll ever know. I don’t think we’ll ever know the answer to why did this happen,” Esther Flynn said. “I think it would be nice to find out who, and have some kind of justice.”

Betty McGowen was a teacher at Ponus Ridge Middle School on the day that Kathleen Flynn went missing.

“It was just a very, very sad day,” McGowen said on Thursday. “We arrived in the morning and police cars all over, and they just did not know and they never did know.”

McGowen said the school held a memorial service that everyone attended.

“It was just a super sad day,” McGowen said. “The whole school, the whole community — because she also had a brother — it was sad from then on.”

In 2016, the Norwalk Police Department said it hoped recent advancements in DNA technology would lead investigators to the perpetrator. In February, police used DNA to solve 26-year-old mystery regarding a dead body that was found off the Norwalk coast on Shea Island.