A Maine man who is accused of sexually assaulting and strangling an 11-year-old girl in Norwalk in 1986 made a brief court appearance Monday after being extradited back to Connecticut and he is due back in court on July 10.
Norwalk Police worked with Maine State Police to arrest Marc Karun, 53, on Wednesday.
He has been charged with murder with special circumstances and kidnapping charges in connection with the disappearance and slaying of 11-year-old Kathleen Flynn.
She was reported missing on Sept. 23, 1986 when she failed to return home from school.
Her normal walk home from school included the path that leads to Hunters Lane, and then to Fillow Street and some of Kathleen’s friends said they saw her walking toward the beginning of the path by the tennis courts a few minutes after school ended, according to police.
Kathleen’s body was found the next morning in a secluded wooded area more than 100 feet from the path. Authorities said she was sexually assaulted and strangled.
Her murder really shook the Norwalk community.
Karun, who would have been 21 years in September 1986, was arrested in Maine and extradited back to Connecticut. He has been charged with murder with special circumstances and kidnapping charges and is being held on $5 million bond.
"The investigators feel great about the fact that they were able to bring some closure to the family," Norwalk Police Lt. Terrence Blake said. "This has been an over 30 year investigation that they've never let up on and they certainly did a great job bringing this individual to justice."
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, who is a former Norwalk Police chief and lieutenant, sat in the courtroom during the brief appearance Monday morning. The judge kept Karun's bond at $5 million and the case moves to Stamford next month.
Kathleen's family released a statement thanking the Norwalk Police for "bringing Kathleen's murderer to justice."
According to our NBC affiliate in Maine, Karun was charged with sexual assault and kidnapping in a separate case just six months before Flynn was murdered. But the victim in that case did not wish to testify, so Karun was released on probation 20 days before Flynn disappeared.
A registered sex offender for life, Karum had been living in Stetson, Maine for the past five or six years.
"Most of the time when you hear about someone doing something like this, you think, you know, I guess I knew that person," Millard Butler from Stetson said. "I didn't think he was really capable of doing it but in this case, what I've seen of him, I'm not surprised a bit. I think he was completely capable of doing something like that."
Police will hold a news conference on Tuesday.