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Woman’s fiance charged with murder 12 years after disappearance

The fiance of Caitlin Markham — an Ohio art student who disappeared nearly 12 years ago — has been charged with two counts of murder in her death.

John Carter, 34, was arrested Wednesday and remains in the Butler County Jail. The indictment against him was unsealed Thursday morning and it is unclear if he has retained an attorney.

An arrest has been made in the death of Caitlin Markham after 12 years. https://t.co/6SwhFFuUU0

— WHIO-TV (@whiotv) March 23, 2023

The charges stem from the August 2011 disappearance of Markham, who was last seen at her home in Fairfield. At the time, Markham was weeks away from finishing her graphic arts degree at the Art Institute of Ohio-Cincinnati, and Carter said they planned to move to Colorado later that year.

After Markham disappeared in 2011, Carter told ABC News that she had a “gut feeling” that he was still alive.

“I have to believe he’s alive,” he told ABC News. “I have to believe I’ll have him in my arms soon.”

Markham’s skeletal remains were discovered in 2013 in a wooded area in Cedar Grove, Indiana, about 20 miles west of his home in Fairfield. Authorities have ruled her death a homicide.

In February, Jonathan Palmerton was arrested on a felony count of perjury in connection with Markham’s death. That case remains active, authorities said, but specific details about why he was charged have not been released.

Markham’s father, Dave, told CBS affiliate WHIO-TV that Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser had been contacted about his arrest.

“All I could do was cry, a huge weight off my shoulders,” she said.

Markham’s father told WHO that he still thinks about his daughter regularly.

“I often wonder what she’s doing with her art and her career, and I think she’s just going to be an amazing woman,” he told the station. “And it makes me a little angry that she lived scot-free for 12 years thinking she got away with it. And so many of us missed Caitlin terribly every day for 12 years. And that’s not fair, and that’s not fair. And hopefully, it will be okay.”

Missing Ohio woman Caitlin Markham

Missing Ohio woman Caitlin Markham

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