Dad wants to ID killer


NEW YORK CITY (WPIX) — The father of Claire McKenna, an aspiring singer found dead last month on a New York City street, wants to know who pushed the 26-year-old woman on a dolly for several blocks before dumping her body behind a bush.

“They came to the house and said, ‘These are her boots,’” Claire McKenna’s grieving father, Derek McKenna, told Nexstar’s WPIX about the police visit to his home on Oct. 12.

Derek McKenna said his daughter had gone to a get-together in Queens on Oct. 10, and he received a disturbing text at 3:11 a.m. the following morning.

“The text said ‘Help,’” he said. The next one read, “My phone will die.”

By the time Derek McKenna saw the texts, his daughter wasn’t answering his phone calls.

At 4:34 a.m. on Oct. 12, just over 24 hours after the concerning text, security video reportedly showed a masked man, dressed in black, wheeling a body on a dolly close to where Claire McKenna’s body was found. Michael Santangelo, the family’s lawyer, said he has seen the footage, which allegedly showed the masked man wheeling the dolly for at least five blocks.

Claire McKenna’s body was found face-down on the sidewalk near a bush at 94th Avenue and 214th Place in Queens Village. The family received a preliminary toxicology report but there’s no definitive cause of death. Police claimed, however, that they found a track mark on Claire McKenna’s arm — but her parents claim it’s just a scar she had prior to her death.

“She had a medical marijuana card,” Derek McKenna said of his daughter. “She was never into heavy drugs.”

He told WPIX he’s upset about his daughter’s good name being tarnished.

“She’s an identical twin,” he said. “She was a really good girl.”

Derek McKenna is an Irish immigrant who works in the construction business. His four daughters were born in the United States. He said his twin daughters were creating music together and trying to break into the business, singing “pop, country, and gospel.” He has plastered posters with his daughter’s picture all over a 10-block radius of Queens Village.

The case appears similar to the mysterious death in July of Queens man Philip Guarino, whose body was pushed on a hand truck for several blocks and deposited in a Brooklyn backyard. Police have not said the two cases are connected.

Derek McKenna wants the police to focus on who dumped his daughter’s body.

“They’re making her out to be something that she’s not,” he said.

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