Family of Irish woman found dead on NYC street offer $35,000 reward

Family of Irish woman, 26, found dead on NYC street offer $35k reward for information – and say cops have video of man pushing her body in a shopping cart

  • On October 12, the body of Claire McKenna, 26, was found partially clothed, face down in a bush in the Queens section of New York 
  • Less than 24 hours before the gruesome discover, McKenna, a native of Ireland, had texted her parents to say that she needed help  
  • One report speculates that McKenna had track marks on her arm and had a history of hard drug use, something that her family disputes
  • In an interview, McKenna’s father stated his worry that his daughter’s death would be brushed off as a drug overdose when he believes it is ‘suspicious’ 
  • According to McKenna’s family, the NYPD has a video showing her body being pushed for five blocks in a dolly by a masked man before being dumped 

A 26-year-old aspiring singer from Ireland was found dead in a bush on a street in the Queens section of New York with her family claiming that she was murdered.

Claire McKenna’s body was found unresponsive on 94th Avenue and 214 Street, a quiet residential street in Queens Village, on October 12. She was partially clothed and lying face down. Her body was discovered by a passer-by. 

According to police, McKenna had a history of drug use and had track marks on her arm. That account was disputed by the family’s attorney, Michael G. Santangelo.

Santangelo told that McKenna’s mother would testify that her daughter was not a hard drug user. He said that she did have a medical marijuana card. 

In an interview with the New York Post, McKenna’s father, Derek, stated his worry that the authorities would merely brush off his daughter’s death as a drug overdose.  

When contacted by, the medical examiner’s office simply said: ‘The cause and manner of death remain under investigation. That is the extent of comment our office can offer.’

According to a poster offering a $35,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case, on October 11 at 3:11 am McKenna texted her parents in her homeland to say that she needed help and that her phone’s battery was about to die

McKenna was an aspiring singer who performed with her twin sister under the name Sarah Claire

According to a poster offering a $35,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case, on October 11 at 3:11 am McKenna texted her parents in her homeland to say that she needed help and that her phone’s battery was about to die. 

Her body was discovered a little over 24 hours later around 4:30 am.

Derek McKenna told the New York Post: ‘It’s easy for them. ‘Oh, it’s an overdose.’ And then it goes away. But it’s not going to go away. I will do whatever I have to do. I will do it myself. I can do it with them or without them. The thing is suspicious.’ 

Her family has also said that the police are in possession of a video showing her body being pushed in a dolly by a man wearing a mask with dark clothes. That video shows him dumping her body into the bush. 

The man pushes McKenna’s body for five blocks, according to the poster. 

McKenna’s body was found in this residential neighborhood of Queens Village at 94th Avenue and 214th Street 

According to her LinkedIn page, McKenna was eager to record a second album in 2022 alongside her sister 

Derek said that his family were not told by police about McKenna being found partially clothed or that she had track marks in her arm.

He said: ‘We don’t know what happened. We weren’t told that she was found partially clothed. We weren’t told that she was found with track marks on her arm. We were told that she was transported there on a dolly. What they couldn’t confirm is what we were told by the 105th Precinct.’  

In an interview with the Irish Independent, McKenna’s uncle and godfather Nigel said that the 26-year-old’s passing was ‘unbearable’ for her parents, Derek and Deirdre, as well as her other sisters, Mary and Julia. 

He added: ‘She had spoken to my brother on the Monday morning, October 10th and everything was fine. We are all devastated.’ 

Nigel went on: ‘The pain and sorrow my sister-in-law and brother is in is unbearable. We live in a society that becomes numb to crime due to normalcy. There is nothing normal about this, We will never stop until justice is served.’

He also said that his niece collected food for the homeless and ‘loved dogs.’ 

McKenna’s funeral was held in Astoria, Queens, on October 15. A special service was also held for her in Kilkerley, her family’s hometown in Ireland, on November 11. 

McKenna previously performed in a musical duo with her sister, Sarah, under the name Sarah Claire. The pair’s social media pages have been inactive since 2019. 

According to McKenna’s LinkedIn page, she was eager to record a second album with her sister following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

She wrote in the about section of her page: ‘It’s time to get our strength back and hustle. 2022 here we come. I’m looking for any creative work.’

McKenna was educated at the Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts. At the time of her death, she was also working as a receptionist and in the food service industry. 

In September 2022, McKenna left multiple comments on various job opening posts on LinkedIn expressing her interest in the position. 

Overall crime in the Big Apple is up 29.1 percent from last year 

The latest violence in the Big Apple comes less than a week after Gov. Kathy Hochul won her first full term in office, despite the crime surge which is being blamed largely on Democrats

Hochul’s opponent is Lee Zeldin, a Republican ran a tight race as he remained focused on cracking down on crime and helping the economy recover. He is shown casting his vote 

20 precincts will get extra cops to deal with rising crime, which is up citywide by 30% this year

As of mid-November, overall crime is up 29.1 percent in New York City from last year, with felony assaults, rapes and robberies all up double digits. Murders are down 14.8 percent and shootings are down 12.5 percent.

Felony assaults are also up nearly 14 percent, with police recording 22,319 cases so far this year, and rapes have increased by nearly 11 percent.

Murders and the number of shooting victims were down 14.4 and 13.6 percent respectively.

The city’s transit system appears to be bearing the brunt of surging crime, with about 1,865 reports so far in 2022, a 41.7 percent spike from last year. 

Last week, Gov. Hochul defeated Republican congressman Lee Zeldin, an ally of Donald Trump, despite his campaign focus on the fear of violent crime.

Hochul had been expected to win in a state where there are more than twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans.

But Zeldin made the race competitive, closing in on Hochul in the final weeks and appearing to spur her to speak more about public safety.

In the midterms this year, voters have voiced frustrations like stubborn inflation and a shaky economy, but in New York, concerns about crime took precedence.

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