FAIRFIELD, Ohio -- Three years have passed since the disappearance of a 2008 Fairfield High School graduate who was later found dead in Indiana and the many questions surrounding her homicide remain unanswered.
Katelyn Markham, a 21-year-old art student, was reported missing on Sunday, August 14, 2011 by her fiancé, John Carter.
Carter was the last person to see Markham when he left her Fairfield home at about 11 p.m. the night before.
Markham's remains were found on April 7, 2013 by a conservation officer, 30 miles from her Fairfield home in the rural town of Cedar Grove, Ind.
Indiana State Police are continuing to investigate Markham's case but say they haven't received any new leads in months.
“There hasn’t been any new information in months that I know of," Sgt. Noel Houze told the Journal-News. "Nothing that would move the investigation forward."
Searchers combed through a tree-covered creek bed in eastern Indiana in April 2014 after Indiana State Police received what they described as a “credible tip” into what happened to the 21-year-old.
Members of the Texas Equusearch team spent hours digging through layers of mud, rock and discarded items with members of Markham’s family searching for any new clues.
Doug Day, Fairfield Officer, told the Journal-News the investigation is headed by the Indiana State Police but the Fairfield Police Department is willing to help if needed.
“It seems like neither jurisdiction wants to take charge, ” Markham's father Dave said. “The books are getting dusty and everyone is just waiting around for a phone call or for a tip rather than getting out and working the case.”
Markham's family has since hired Frank Smith, a retired Butler County Sheriff's Detective, to take matters into their own hands.
“We have a game plan,” Markham said, noting he did consider asking the sheriff’s office or BCI to investigate. “But this is the way to go … we are getting a fresh set of eyes.”
Smith, who has his own polygraph business in Hamilton, said he's been reviewing the case for a few months.
“Three years ago I was still working cold cases as the sheriff’s office and we took a look at Katelyn’s case comparing it to others we had unsolved at the time. We found no correlation,” Smith said.
"I felt his pain," Smith said of meeting Dave Markham for the first time.
In his opinion, Markham's case is now a cold case.
“That doesn’t mean they aren’t still working the case,” Smith said. “But if there has been no resolution and no arrest after 36 months, it is a cold case.”