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Ohio Cold Case Breakthrough: Man Charged In Connection With 2011 Murder Of His Graphic Arts Student Fiancée

carter markham

Courtesy MiamiValleyJails.org; Facebook

Mar. 24 2023, Published 3:45 p.m. ET

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A 12-year cold case in southern Ohio finally may be solved, with the arrest of a man on charges of murdering his fiancée, police said.

An indictment unsealed Thursday accuses John Carter, 34, of killing Katelyn Markham. He was arrested Wednesday.

Carter reported Markham missing in August 2011, when she was 22 and completing graphic arts studies in Cincinnati. As FrontPageDetectives reported in 2021, a friend noticed signs of tension during a visit to the couple's home on the night before she vanished.

Carter claimed he became worried after Markham never showed up for work at a bridal shop on the north edge of metro Cincinnati.

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But the indictment reviewed by WHIO-TV claims Carter caused Markham's death around August 13 of that year. Markham's body was found in 2013 in the woods of southeast Indiana by a couple searching for scrap metal.

Authorities never have determined exactly how Markham was killed. But our 2021 examination of the case noted a jawbone was found in a plastic shopping bag.

“All I could do was just cry,” the victim's father, Dave Markham, said when he learned the news of Carter's arrest. “A huge weight off my shoulder.”

The father admitted it “does make me a little angry that he lived for 12 years scot-free thinking he got away with it.”

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The Butler County Journal-News reports Markham asked authorities in 2015 to renew the investigation of his daughter's death. The Sheriff's Office eventually said it had identified a suspect but did not have enough evidence to file charges.

Then in 2020, a Discovery ID crime series hinted someone else might have killed Markham. He was Michael Strouse, who was found guilty of murdering another woman in 2019. While he apparently was acquainted with Markham, Strouse has not been charged for her death.

Another man was arrested in connection with the Markham mystery in February. Jonathan Palmerton is charged with perjury. An indictment said only that he made a false statement under oath.

Carter has claimed the couple planned to move to Colorado after she graduated.

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