The Redding Record-Searchlight has reported that Robert Neil Knechtel, father of Karen Knechtel Mero, died this past Monday. He was 67 years old and had been in poor health for some time, a fact he blamed in part on his daughter’s disappearance. Karen’s mother, Alice, is still alive.
Karen disappeared from McCloud, California in 1997, at the age of 27. Authorities think she may have been the victim of a serial killer. Wesley Howard Shermantine, who was convicted in four women’s presumed deaths (including two cases where the bodies were never found) and suspected in the disappearance of Hannah Zaccaglini (who also disappeared from McCloud in 1997), is the prime suspect in Karen’s disappearance as well.