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FAIRFIELD, Ohio - The motto of the Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team is "lost is not alone." That's the saying members of the search and rescue team live by when they search for a missing person.
The Ohio chapter of the search and recovery team gathered in Fairfield on Thursday to support each other after learning the fate of Katelyn Markham, whose remains were found 30 miles from her home in rural Indiana.
Volunteer Jason Durham says his emotions have been overwhelming since learning the news.
"I, like several others, was hoping we'd find her," Durham said. "I was always forever hopeful with that. nobody wants to think the worst case scenario."
Jack Rosskopf echoed those sentiments. He said that while he is happy Markham's family and friends will have some closure, it is "unfortunate" she wasn't found alive.
"It's a double-edged sword, … It's unfortunate she hasn't been found alive, but it also gives closure not only her family but to this entire EquuSearch family."
Among the EquuSearch family is Debbie Estes, the mother of Billy DiSilvestro who went missing several months before Markham.
"She's like an angel to me. I never heard of the Texas EquuSearch until Katelyn went missing. I came down to help try to find her and I figured it would be a learning process for me to help find my own son."
Right now, Estes is thinking of Markham's father, Dave, who she says must be going through a difficult but bittersweet time.
"He's got to bring his little girl home and I'm so grateful for that," Estes said.
The EquuSearch team and hundreds of other searchers searched a 14-mile radius around Markham's Fairfield home for almost two years after she went missing in August 2011.
In the back of Dave Rader's mind, he always hoped he would find Markham alive. He said learning that Markham's remains had been found made him feel "let down and empty."
"It's a sickening feeling that it came to this as an ending, it seems surreal," said Rader, director of the Ohio Chapter of Texas EquuSearch.
Rader says it's time to grieve but that he and his team have to look ahead.
"There are still people missing out there. There's Paige Johnson, Lauren Spear, Billy DiSilvestro; it doesn't stop with Katelyn."
For Katelyn's father's sake, Rader hopes investigators can now start piecing together the clues in her case and find out how she died.
Rader believes the mystery surrounding her disappearance will one day be solved.
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