CINCINNATI — The remains of a 21-year-old southwest Ohio woman found in Indiana 20 months after she disappeared are still being tested in an effort to determine how and where she died, police said Wednesday.
Indiana State Police said Katelyn Markham’s remains were returned recently to Ohio after nearly three months of examination by a forensic anthropologist. Sgt. Neal Houze said the Hamilton County coroner in Cincinnati will conduct more testing on the remains.
Ms. Markham’s 2011 disappearance from her home in Fairfield, a Cincinnati suburb, led to massive searches before her skeletal remains were found April 7 by people looking for scrap metal near a creek in the Cedar Grove, Ind., area. She was reported missing days before she would have turned 22.
“There’s nothing simple about it,” Sergeant Houze said. “After almost two years, that makes things really tough.”
Indiana and Fairfield city police have been working together on the investigation since her remains were identified April 10. Investigators re-interviewed people who knew her and other possible witnesses. Sergeant Houze said if the death is ruled a homicide, authorities would seek to determine where Ms. Markham died to decide where potential charges would be brought.
“They haven’t stopped interviewing witnesses,” Fairfield police spokesman Doug Day said, saying investigators work on the case daily and that other steps will be “based on the results” of testing of the remains.
Ms. Markham’s home was about 25 miles east of where her remains were found along Big Cedar Creek. The case had stunned Fairfield, a community of some 43,000 residents where violent crime is rare.
She was last seen by her fiance, John Carter, late Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011. He said she then sent him a text message not long after he left her home. Mr. Carter called police that Sunday evening. He said she hadn’t responded to text messages, and that he became alarmed when he went to her home to find her car and nearly all her belongings still there.