Gary Karp again is taking over the reins. As he has countless times in the decade since his teenaged daughter, Marissa, was found dead in the Everglades, yesterday the Broward man held a news conference, reminding South Florida about the unsolved case. The recent occasion was Karp's trip this week to the Bahamas. Before hopping a plane Monday, Karp spoke briefly with the news media at the Fort Lauderdale airport.
Unfortunately, the trip was inspired by some tragic news last month. Karp has long believed that Almanto Coakley, the man Marissa was living with at the time of her death, knew the details of her last moments. Then, in April, news leaked from the island that Coakley had been murdered. Now running out of options, Karp scheduled this trip as a hail-mary play, hoping to finally shake loose information that will solve his daughter's case.
Karp and his son Josh are now in the Bahamas. They'll be on the islands until Saturday, meeting with members of the Bahamian media and law enforcement. The Karps also plan to hand out fliers in the neighborhood where Coakley was murdered. To symbolically hammer home his point, Karp brought along an oversized check for $12,800, the Crime Stoppers award for information in Marissa's killing.
This isn't Karp's first trip to the islands looking for clues. On a previous visit, Karp made the rounds with local law enforcement, eventually finding the paralyzed survivor of a 2002 double murder in Sunrise. When the victim revealed to Karp that he knew who pulled the trigger in the shooting, the father raced back home with the news. He believed a link between the gangland hit and his daughter's case could prove important leverage. But police declined to pursue the correspondence at the time.
It wasn't until last fall that police strung a connection between the two cases. An arrest warrant was issued for Coakley in the 2002 Sunrise killings, and police announced they wanted to reinterview the Bahamian about Marissa's death. With Coakley now gone, Karp decided a return visit to the Bahamas was his final option.
"We'll see this through till the end," Karp told New Times last month.
In all sincerity, we wish him luck.