Benefit in memory of Katelyn Markham is Saturday

A group of Fairfield residents and more have planned an event to remember the life of Katelyn Markham and raise money to benefit victims of domestic violence.

Markham was just days from her 22nd birthday in August 2011 when she vanished 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 and went unsolved until this year when her fiancé at the time she went missing, John Carter, as indicted and charged with murder.

Carter, who is free on bond, is scheduled to stand trial in June 2024.

While the final chapter of Katelyn’s story is not over, event organizer and local attorney Tina Barrett said, “Justice for Katelyn. Celebration in Color” is part of the next step of remembering the creative art student and how she lived.

The Oct. 7 event with a fall theme and family fun activities including pumpkin painting and carving, face painting, balloons, a bake sale, s’mores station and prizes, will be 2-6 p.m. in Harbin Park, 1300 Hunter Road.

“There is a community of people who have been together since August of 2011 when Katelyn first disappeared and we have gone through the ups and downs of looking for her, finding her, trying to get justice for her, trying to get other entities to look at her case and when that finally happened there was a lot of happiness, but also it is a stressful time for the family, Barrett said. “In her legacy, no matter what happens next June, Katelyn brought a lot of people together and she needs to be remembered and her story needs to continue.”

She said this first event is a way to turn the page.

“We need to start talking about what her mark is on this community,” Barrett said. “This event is a way to create something that is going to endure. She was. She was an artist. She embraced color. She brought people together. We need to do some good with that.”

Barrett said the primary goal is for everyone to have a good time and build it to an annual event and “celebrate who she was, how she lived and what she brought to us.”

Dave Markham, Katelyn’s dad, said he will be attending and invites everyone out to “do what Katelyn did” — have fun and spread color and joy.

“I am excited for it, I think it is going to be a good thing. We want families out there. And any donations we do get we are going to donate to a local shelter for domestic violence. So I think that is pretty positive.”

Dave Markham said waiting for the trial of Carter is difficult, but once it is over, “it seems like everything is going to go away, so will be a good thing. Bring her back to life every year.”

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