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Woman's friends, family still seek answers 2 years later

TNS Regional News • Aug 14, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Two years after Katelyn Markham went missing and four months since her skeletal remains were found along a wooded Indiana road, her friends and family are still looking for answers.

They got an important one on Tuesday when the 23-year-old Fairfield woman’s death was ruled a homicide by Franklin County, Ind. Coroner Wanda Lee. However, the cause of Markham’s death remains undetermined, according to the coroner’s office.

Lee made the ruling after reviewing the results of examinations conducted by various forensic specialists. Markham’s remains, found April 7 in Cedar Grove, Ind., have been released so her family can make funeral arrangements.

“I am not surprised,” said David Markham, Katelyn’s father. “I knew it. I felt it.”

He said he had been told about the ruling before the information was released to the news media. It is not a good feeling, he said, but it ends some rumors about his daughter’s death.

“It stops the rumors that she just walked away. She didn’t just take a 25-mile walk. She was dropped there and put there by somebody,” David Markham said.

News of the homicide ruling came less than two hours before a planned “Stand up for Katelyn Rally” outside the Fairfield Police Department on Tuesday.

“This (rally) really is to show that people are very interested and concerned,” David Markham said. “They want some resolution.”

About 15 people held colorful signs that read “2 years is too long” and “Justice for Katelyn.”

Shari Crystol made a sign with Katelyn’s picture, a scarf like those she often wore and a fluffy miniature coat signifying the case will never go cold until solved.

“I am here because I stand behind Katelyn and justice,” said Crystol, who lives in Northern Kentucky and joined searches for Katelyn.

Missy Gessner Hammond said the rally was organized “to keep her name out there. Let everyone know we haven’t stopped thinking about her.”

Karen Diggs, who also joined searches for Katelyn, said the rally is also to show support for the police.

“They need to take the investigation to the next step,” Diggs said.

“This is a remembrance,” said David Markham. “Just because she is coming home, doesn’t mean the investigation is over.

The Indiana State Police and the Fairfield police continue working jointly in the investigation into the death of Markham, but ISP will now lead the homicide investigation, according to Fairfield Officer Doug Day.

“I have to assume they (ISP) believed she was killed there,” Day said

Detectives with ISP have been investigating Markham’s death since her remains were found and Fairfield police conducted the missing person investigation, Day said.

He said Fairfield detectives have work daily, logging hundreds of hours investigating the case.

“Sometimes Justice comes slow,” Day said, adding detectives did talk to people they thought were responsible for her disappearance and some were cleared.

Day said he is confident in the investigators and that the case will be solved.

“It just takes one person to come forward,” Day said. “Somebody knows.”

For three months, the remains were in Indianapolis for examination by a forensic anthropologist, and in July, they were returned to Ohio where further testing was done by the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office.

David Markham said he was recently given a polygraph test by ISP investigators, which he did willingly. He questioned why it wasn’t done two years ago.

“That’s criminal investigation 101. You start with the family and work your way out,” he said.

A missing person’s report was filed after Katelyn Markham did not show up for work Aug. 14, 2011, at David’s Bridal near Tri-County Mall. Katelyn, an Art Institute of Cincinnati student who was close to graduating, left her car, her keys, her dog, and all her personal belongings with the exception of her cellphone at her Dorshire Drive residence.

Her cellphone was turned off around 12:45 a.m. Aug. 14. The GPS device on her phone was also turned off.

For months, legions of friends, family and caring strangers searched for the young woman. On April 7, her skeletal remains were found in Indiana by men searching for scrap metal, and three days later, positively identified using dental records.

Anyone who has any information regarding her death is urged to call the Indiana State Police at (812) 689-5000, Fairfield police at (513) 867-6094, or Crime Stoppers at (888) 352-3040 or (513) 352-3040.


By Lauren Pack - Hamilton JournalNews, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 the Hamilton JournalNews (Hamilton, Ohio)

Visit the Hamilton JournalNews (Hamilton, Ohio) at www.journal-news.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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