But what happened to the 22-year-old art student and how she died remain a mystery, despite a $100,000 reward and the efforts of multiple police agencies, private detectives, television shows and a movie.
“A confession. Someone walking in and having a guilty conscience,” said Dave Markham, Katelyn’s father.
When asked if his office in investigating the Markham case, Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said, “Absolutely. And hold my cards close to the vest.”
Even after the 2020 television spotlight, the Markham case remains unsolved.
He pointed to an annual Fairfield festival as a possible connection.
“The Sacred Heart Festival is going on right up the street and there’s lots of questionable people there and it’s just kind of — I’m sorry,” says a person who identifies themselves as John Carter on the recording.
Then on April 7, 2013, skeletal remains were found in a remote wooded area in Indiana about 30 miles from Fairfield. Within days, confirmation came that the remains were Markham’s, and the Franklin County Coroner ruled her death a homicide. However, her exact cause of death could not be determined.
Fairfield Police Maj. Becky Ervin said the case is “technically” under the jurisdiction of the Indiana State Police, but when asked for an update, she said, “It is still an open investigation so we cannot comment further.”
Credit: Greg Lynch
Credit: Greg Lynch
With the hefty reward for information about Markham’s death that has turned up nothing, Patton believes that points to one person being involved.
“We have not had one credible piece of information, even with the $100,000. Someone is good at keeping quiet,” Patton said.
“This case was heavily investigated by the Fairfield Police Department and the Indiana State Police before we took a look at it. We interviewed 20 people and conducted three polygraphs,” Maj. Mike Craft said in November 2016.
“We were given a list of several people of interest and we have narrowed it down to a strong person of interest, but we need some help with the case.”
Butler County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer said last week that “the detectives that worked it have some theories, and they have pretty much exhausted what they can do with the manifest we have.”
“Cases like this can be very difficult. It doesn’t unfold like on TV. Sometimes people involved in nefarious acts get lucky.” Dwyer said. “And the more people involved expand your ability to get leads. There’s the old saying, two people can keep a secret when one of them is dead.”
At the beginning of the investigation, Markham said he was treated like a suspect, but he does not feel that way anymore after passing multiple lie detector tests.
“I took two (polygraph tests). One for Indiana and Butler County. I was the first one to be polygraphed,” he said.
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