Katelyn Markham

Indictment Unsealed in Art Student Katelyn Markham’s Murder, Fiancé Arrested Nearly 12 Years Later

The Butler County Prosecutor’s Office in Ohio made an arrest Wednesday in connection with the death of Katelyn Markham, an art student who was found dead nearly 12 years ago.

John Carter, 34, who was Markham’s fiancé when she vanished, was arrested in Fairfield for her murder, according to Journal-News, and booked into the Butler County Jail. An indictment from March 13 has since been unsealed that provides more insight into the case.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Markham was reported missing Sunday, August 14, 2011, by Carter. Markham, 21, lived in Fairfield and worked two jobs in addition to her studies.

Carter said he last saw Katelyn around 11:00 p.m. the night of August 13 and that he received a text from her later on, at 1:00 a.m.

John Carter/Police Handout

Carter was asked during the 911 call if he had recently argued with Katelyn. He indicated that he had not. Katelyn’s best friend, Michelle Fiest, insisted that the pair had a heated disagreement two days earlier.  She said the argument was so upsetting that it caused Katelyn to leave a church event early.

On April 10, 2013, skeletal remains were found in rural Indiana, over 30 miles from Katelyn’s Fairfield home. A local resident found the remains while sifting through garbage at a nearby dump site.

According to the unsealed indictment, Carter is accused of “purposely” causing Markham’s death “on or about Aug. 13, 2011, through Aug. 14, 2011, in Butler County.”

John Carter Indictment by Leigh Egan

Markham’s father, Dave, told NBC 5 that the “wonderful news” has left him “knocked over.”

“To be hit with this wonderful news today, really kind of knocked me over,” he said.

“Everybody wanted justice for Katelyn and it’s getting much much closer. Katelyn deserves this and thank God for Butler County Prosecutor’s Office because they were bulldogs on this and when they picked it up a few years ago as a cold case and yeah I owe them a lot of thanks.”

Carter remains behind bars at the Butler County jail on two murder counts. His plea hearing is scheduled for April 20 at 1 p.m.

A close friend of Carter’s, identified as 35-year-old Jonathan Palmerton, was also arrested and indicted for perjury after allegedly lying to investigators during the investigation.

Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo: Katelyn Markham /Handout]