Claire McKenna’s family is speaking out after a newspaper reported what the family calls “false and defamatory accusations” about the Irish American woman who was found dead in Queens in October.
“They’re making her out to be something that she’s not,” Derek McKenna, Claire’s father and a native of Co Louth, told PIX 11 in New York on Wednesday.
“To deal with that stuff, meanwhile we’re grieving, it’s horrific,” Claire’s mother Deirdre tearfully told PIX 11.
Derek, who works in construction in New York, has been hanging posters offering a reward of $35,000 for “information leading to an arrest and conviction” concerning the death of his daughter.
On their posters, the McKenna family says that Claire had texted them saying “Help” and that her cell phone’s battery was dying in the early hours of October 11, the day before her body was found.
Derek told PIX 11 that by the time he responded to Claire, she was not answering her phone.
The family further said on the posters: “On Wednesday morning, October 12, 2022, at approximately 4:30 am (over 24 hours after the text was sent by Claire), a man, fully covered with a mask and dark clothes, was captured on videotape pushing Claire’s body in a dolly and was caught dumping her body in a bush located at 94th Avenue and 214th Street, Queens, New York.”
Deirdre told PIX 11 on Wednesday: “It’s $35,000 for information leading to the man who dumped her body like she was garbage.
“We want to find him. I want him to answer for what he did.”
The posters direct anyone with information to contact the McKennas’ lawyer Michael G. Santangelo, Esq at 914-391-1823 or email him at mgsesq [@] msn.com. Santangelo has not responded to a request for comment from IrishCentral.
An NYPD spokesperson confirmed to IrishCentral on November 15 that on October 12, police responded to a 911 call of an aided individual at 94 Avenue and 214 Street. McKenna was tragically pronounced dead on the scene.
An NYPD spokesperson confirmed to IrishCentral on November 15 that the investigation is still ongoing. The McKenna family received a preliminary toxicology report but there’s no definitive cause of death, PIX 11 reports.
“She didn’t want to leave this earth,” Deirdre tearfully told PIX 11. “She wouldn’t do anything to herself to make that happen.”
You can watch the PIX 11 report on Claire McKenna here: