Maine man, 53, arrested for 1986 rape and brutal murder of 11-year-old girl Kathleen Flynn in Connecticut
Police have arrested a 53-year-old man in connection with the 1986 rape and murder of an 11-year-old Connecticut girl who was abducted as she was walking home from school. According to a press release by the Norwalk Police Department, members of the Maine State Police Major Crime Unit of Troop E Bangor along with their tactical unit arrested Marc J. Karun of Stelson, Maine, at his residence at 11:20 am on Wednesday, June 12.
The arrest occurred while lieutenant Art Weisgerber and Sergeant Alex Tolnay were in Bangor, Maine to execute an arrest warrant for Karun issued in connection to the sexual assault and murder of sixth-grader Kathleen Flynn.
WTIC reported that Kathleen was last seen on September 23, 1986, after she said goodbye to her friends and headed towards a wooded path she usually took to get back home. That path started at the tennis courts of the Pontus Ridge Middle School where she studied, and went to Hunters Lane and then Fillow Street.
When she was not back home by the usual 3:15 pm, her mother became worried and went to her school and the surrounding area to search for her. At 5:12 pm, she reported Kathleen missing.
The 11-year-old's body was found around 12 hours after she went missing, just 100 feet off the path in a secluded wooded area. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death.
Police said numerous tips about suspects had been called over the years but none had worked out, and that they had been using DNA technology in recent times to solve the murder.
A breakthrough saw them pinpoint Karun as a suspect. According to Bangor Daily News, the 53-year-old had first come to the attention of the authorities about two weeks after Kathleen's death and was never ruled out as a culprit in the 33 years leading up to his arrest.
Eventually, despite the lack of DNA evidence, police found similarities in Kathleen's case and that of four convictions Karun had racked up for kidnapping or sexual assault of four separate female victims both before and after the 11-year-old's murder. He is also a lifetime registrant on the Maine sex offender registry.
In an affidavit that was used as ground's for his arrest, Norwalk Police Department Lt. Arthur Weisberger wrote, "Several of the cases exhibit a similar geographical profile, modus operandi and rituals to the Kathleen Flynn homicide in some form."
Kathleen's family thanked law enforcement for their perseverance in solving the murder. "We wish to thank the Norwalk Police Department for bringing Kathleen's murderer to justice," a statement read. "This continues to be a very difficult time for us and we do not wish to make any further comments. We ask the media to please respect our privacy."
Karun is scheduled to make his first appearance in court on Friday, June 14, to face charges of murder with special circumstances and kidnapping in the first degree. The statute of limitations has run out on the charge of sexual assault.
Karun is being held at the Penobscot County Jail until the terms of his extradition to Connecticut are determined.