CEDAR GROVE, Ind. -- Additional skeletal remains were found this week at the site where authorities discovered the bones of 21-year-old Katelyn Markham one year earlier.
Authorities with the Franklin County Coroner's Office said an official identification of the remains has not been made, but upon initial observation, “they are believed to belong to Markham.”
Markham went missing from her Fairfield home in August 2011.
Since then, searchers have combed through a tree-covered creek bed in eastern Indiana trying to find the clues they need to answer the questions surrounding her death.
Indiana State Police (ISP) received a report from a 911 caller on April 10 that more remains were spotted in the area of Big Cedar Road near Cedar Grove. Markham’s skeletal remains were found at this site in April 2013 .
A volunteer search team of about 15 people began investigating the site Saturday, April 19 and discovered solitary human bones later in the day, authorities said.
Digging through layers of mud, rock and discarded items from 8:30 a.m. until after nightfall, the search party was joined by members of Markham’s family.
"(The remains) were found in the general vicinity where Katelyn was, but were scattered quite a distance away," said Dave Rader, head of the Ohio branch of the search and rescue organization Texas Equusearch. "There were a few found close by, but a few feet away."
Rader’s team has spent countless hours searching for clues in the case since Markham went missing from her Fairfield home.
He said the discovery Saturday did not mean searchers were careless in the past.
"You have to remember that the topography changes over the course of the year," Rader said. "It's not ISP, it's not Fairfield, it's not anybody's fault this came to light."
Markham’s father, Dave Markham, called Saturday “an emotional day” but thanked the search party for their continued efforts and support.
"They have been my support group for the past nearly three years. Without them, I'm not sure how I would have been able to cope," he said.
Markham's death was ruled a homicide in August 2013, exactly two years from the date of her disappearance. But authorities have yet to name a suspect.
While he wants to move on with his life, David Markham said he can’t until his daughter’s killer is caught.
“There are still a lot of… unanswered questions,” he said. “I’m not going away.”
Rader said he hopes David Markham will get the closure he's waited for since he lost his daughter.
"You can imagine the emotional roller coaster that man is going through," Rader said. "He just wants justice for his daughter."
A forensic anthropologist in Indianapolis will conduct a post-mortem examination and confirm the identity of the new skeletal remains.
ISP and Fairfield police are working jointly in their investigation into Markham’s death. They ask anyone with information to call ISP at 812-689-5000 or Fairfield police at 513-867-6094.