Karen Elizabeth Knechtel Mero

Mero, circa 1997; Ed Henline Sr.; Ed Henline Jr.

  • Missing Since 02/15/1997
  • Missing From McCloud, California
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 05/21/1969 (50)
  • Age 27 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'8, 170 pounds
  • Medical Conditions Mero had a liver transplant in 1994 and must take anti-rejection drugs regularly to survive. She takes other prescription medications as well. Mero is classified as disabled.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, green eyes. Mero has a scar on her face near her nose and a surgical scar on her lower abdomen from a liver transplant. Her upper front row of teeth are capped. Some agencies give her name as "Karen Knichtel Mero" or "Karin Elizabeth Mero."

Details of Disappearance

Mero was last seen in McCloud, California on February 15, 1997. She was apparently last seen on the front porch the residence of Ed Henline Sr. and his wife. The couple lived on east Minnesota Avenue in McCloud at the time and Mero formerly lived at their home with her boyfriend, Ed Henline Jr. She has never been seen again.

Mero was not reported as a missing person to law enforcement until October 1997, eight months after she disappeared. Authorities and her parents initially believed she had left of her own accord, as she had a warrant out for her arrest. But as months passed with no indication of Mero's whereabouts, the police and her family became concerned for her welfare. She was separated from her husband at the time of her disappearance, and her only income was $700 a month in disability payments.

A seventeen-year-old girl, Hannah Zaccaglini, also vanished from the same locale as Mero in February 1997, four months after Mero's disappearance. The Henlines were questioned in both cases and their home was searched by law enforcement, and in 2012, both Ed Henline Sr. and his son Ed Jr. were charged with Hannah's murder. The charges were dropped for lack of evidence in May 2013. Photos of the Henlines are posted with this case summary.

Authorities maintain that the Henlines remain possible suspects in both cases. Ed and his wife were accused of writing fraudulent checks on Mero's bank account after she disappeared. They were also arrested on drug charges in 1999. Both Hannah and Mero's cases remain unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office
  • 530-841-2900
  • Federal Bureau o f Investigation
  • Redding, California Office
  • 530-223-6473

Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated October 20, 2007; picture added.