Katelyn Markham’s father: ‘I’m starting to get anxious’

Butler County Sheriff’s probe in its third week

On Dec. 18, a tearful Dave Markham put out a public plea to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones asking his department to take the unsolved case of his daughter’s disappearance and death, pointing to the Fairfield police as the reason it had not been solved.

Within minutes, Jones told the Journal-News his detectives would “take a look at the case.” And Fairfield Police Chief Mike Dickey said that his department is willing to work with other agencies.

Three weeks later, three assigned detectives are looking at every piece of evidence gathered from August 2011 to the day of Dave Markham’s request, sheriff’s officials said. It is Markham’s hope that a “fresh set of eyes” will solve the case.

It has been more than four years since Katelyn Markham disappeared from her Fairfield home and two years since the 21-year-old art student’s remains were found in a wooded area in Indiana.

“Right now we are looking at it to see if there is anything we can do to help,” said Maj. Mike Craft, of the sheriff’s office. “We may see something that someone else hasn’t seen; that happens, even with us. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes is good.”

Before their assignment last month, the only information that sheriff’s detectives had about the mysterious case is what they read and heard through various forms of media.

“We have heard all the rumors and all the theories,” Craft said. “Not a lot of credence will be put into any one element. We are looking at the evidence.”

Florida private investigator J. Ryan Green, who was hired to investigate Katelyn’s case, said he is investigating three theories about Katelyn’s death: it was a homicide, an accident or a drug overdose.

Katelyn Markham disappeared from her condo on Aug. 13, 2011. Her skeletal remains were found at a dump site in a wooded area in rural Indiana in 2013. A coroner ruled her death a homicide, but the cause of death remains unknown.

Police never publicly identified a suspect. Katelyn Markham was last seen alive by her fiance, John Carter, who reported her missing.

During the December press conference, Green, who was hired to investigate Katelyn’s case, said a new piece of evidence, which has been processed for DNA, could break the case wide open. But he declined to comment further, noting the evidence was available for testing four years ago, but Fairfield police had not processed it.

Both Fairfield and the Indiana State Police, also involved in the investigation due to where Katelyn’s body was found, continue to release little about that piece of evidence and if it is the key to the case.

Indiana State Police Detective Vance Patton said the item is from a car and that some of the DNA testing is already known, but more is in the process.

Patton noted it is important to understand “no information should be release and no one has been eliminated as a suspect.”

He also commended the Fairfield Police Department with the initial investigation of the case. Katelyn Markham was officially a critical missing person. No signs of foul play was found at her home.

“I have really got to give it to them (Fairfield Police), they did a lot with it as a missing person case,” Patton said.

Sheriff’s detectives have talked to all involved in the investigation, including local private detective Frank Smith, who is a retired sheriff’s detective.

Markham said he talked with the sheriff’s detectives, and they said to give them a month.

“I’m still positive,” Markham said. “But it’s been three weeks, I am starting to get anxious.”

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