John Carter, accused of killing Katelyn Markham, has hearing continued to October

Suspect was indicted in March after a months-long investigation by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

A hearing scheduled for John Carter who is accused of killing Fairfield’s Katelyn Markham in 2011 did not happen Wednesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court. The status report hearing was continued at the request of the defense until Oct. 17, according to court records.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Carter, who is free after posting a $1 million bond, is charged with murder in the 2011 death of Markham, his fiancé at the time of her death. He was indicted in March after a months-long investigation by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

Prosecutors have turned over three rounds of discovery to Carter’s defense team that include hundreds of items, some apparently obtained as recently as this summer.

Carter’s attorney Chris Pagan said the continuance was due to “voluminous discovery” and time is need to review it before any motions are filed.

The latest supplemental discovery filed Wednesday included audio and video interviews of witnesses identified only by initials, six photographs from a Sacred Heart Festival on Aug. 13, 2011; 49 photos and two videos from the festival on Aug. 11, 2023; four photos and one video from W. Scioto Drive on Aug. 13, 2023: six videos of drive from 5214 Dorshire to 7068 Big Cedar Road on Aug. 13, 2023 and a video of the area near 7068 Big Cedar Road (Indiana) on Aug. 13, 2023, according to court documents.

“As these cases start spinning, there is more material that comes about as the result of the charge having been brought,” Gmoser said. “Just because there is an indictment doesn’t mean that we stop our investigation. It is still moving forward and I am still interviewing witnesses and potential witnesses,” Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said Thursday.

Markham, a free-spirited art student, was just days away from her 22nd birthday when she vanished in August 2011 from her Fairfield townhouse. Her skeletal remains were found April 7, 2013 in a remote wooded area in Indiana about 30 miles from her home. Her death was ruled a homicide, but the cause of death has not been determined.

It remained unsolved until March 2023 when an 18-month investigation by the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office resulted in Carter’s arrest.

At arraignment, Gmoser shared some of the investigative evidence against Carter that is included in an affidavit for search warrants to search a number of locations, including Carter’s family home and Palmerton’s 2011 residence.

Investigators from his office and the Fairfield Police Dept. also dug up yards looking for evidence. Evidence was taken.

What happened to Markham and how she died has remained a mystery for years, despite a $100,000 reward and the efforts of multiple police agencies, private detectives, television shows and a movie.

Indiana State Police and at least two private detectives also investigated the case with no arrests — just lots of theories.

Markham’s disappearance was treated as a missing person case by Fairfield police when she vanished from her Dorshire Drive residence. She did not show up for work at David’s Bridal near Tri-County Mall.

Carter called 911 to report her missing.

Markham left her car, keys, dog and all personal belongings, with the exception of her cell phone, at her townhouse. Her cell phone was turned off at about 12:45 a.m. on Aug. 14, 2011. The GPS device on her phone also was turned off.

When the skeletal remains were found in April 2013 in a remote wooded area in Cedar Grove, Ind., within days, confirmation came that the remains were Markham’s.

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