Skeletal Remains Identified As Young Art Student Who Vanished In August 2011

A man named Andy Hicks, 35, and his wife, Natalie, 32, were searching for scrap metal along the Big Cedar Creek near Cedar Grove in Indiana on April 7 when they stumbled upon a human jawbone, accompanied by a skull and other bones.

The remains were virtually decomposed, with remnants of brown hair. The body appeared to have been dumped, as no obvious attempt had been made to cover it other than the skull being inside a plastic bag. Some garbage was found near the body, but the women who owned the property said she’d called the police to report people frequently dumping trash on her land.

Indiana State Police and the medical examiner managed to identify the skeletonized remains as 22-year-old Katelyn Markham, of Fairfield, Ohio. Now the coroner is working to determine exactly how the young lady died. It will be difficult to ascertain given the condition of the body.

Markham was reported missing on August 14, 2011, a couple of days before her 22nd birthday, and was last seen in the company of her fiance, John Carter, the eve before.

Statistics have shown that when someone goes missing and foul play is involved, 87 percent of the time the victim is found within 12 miles of home. Markham’s remains were found more than 30 miles away. When a woman goes missing against her will, nearly 80 percent of the time she knows her assailant.

Authorities originally believed the bride-to-be vanished under suspicious circumstances, leaving behind her cards, purse, clothing, vehicle, and her sketch book.

Her father, David Markham, said the art student was never without her sketch book.

The only personal item not accounted for was her red cellphone which was turned off shortly after she went missing.

Carter has been under suspicion since, but was never officially detained. He claimed the two exchanged text messages shortly after he left her company the evening of the 13th. According to WLWT News, Carter contacted the police on the 14th, saying that Markham failed to responded to text messages, and that he became alarmed when he went to her home and found her car and nearly all her belongings seemingly untouched.

Markham was mere weeks from earning her bachelor’s degree and the two planned to move to Colorado and marry after.

A neighbor who lived and worked near Markham, 26-year-old Gurpreet Kang, was also investigated in connection to Markham’s disappearance. He was not charged or detained either. However, at the time of his questioning, Kang was ensnared on a sexual assault charge stemming from April 2011 in Oxford. His DNA matched that of a woman who had been raped.

[Image via Shutterstock]