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Trial date set for John Carter, suspect in fiancee Katelyn Markham’s cold case murder

Butler County Sheriff’s Office

(NEW YORK) — With the trial of John Carter, who’s been charged in the cold case murder of his fiancee, Katelyn Markham, scheduled to begin in the summer of 2024, the victim’s father said he hoped a conviction would close a dark chapter in his life.


“That has been a huge and very hard time of my life for 12 years,” David Markham told ABC News. “The relief that I think I am going to feel will be so welcomed and grateful.”

Carter, who is now 35, reported Katelyn’s disappearance to police in Ohio in 2011. Her remains were found in rural Indiana two years later. Carter’s trial is expected to begin next summer, with an opening date scheduled for June 24, 2024.

In an interview days after her disappearance, Carter told ABC Cincinnati affiliate WCPO-TV he hoped to see Katelyn again.

“I’m terrified, I’m absolutely terrified,” he said at the time. “I just want to find Katelyn and celebrate her birthday with her.”

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser included in court documents a typed poem that his office said was found in Carter’s home.

“Deep down I love her. You want to kill her,” it said in part. “But I love her. She must die. I can’t kill her. Yes you can. No. Yes.”

Gmoser and his team took over the cold case two years ago and said they were able to gather enough information through interviews and documents to lead to Carter’s arrest.

Markham said he was blindsided when notified by the prosecution that Carter’s arrest was imminent.

“I had no indication that they were going to arrest him,” Markham said.

A few minutes later, he found out Carter was in police custody, he said. His phone started buzzing with messages from reporters, friends and family, he said.

“It took me a few hours to kind of let it sink in,” Markham said. “The biggest feeling was relief and it’s about time.”

Carter’s defense attorney, Chris Pagan, did not respond to ABC News’ request to comment.

Carter posted a $1 million bond, but was still being held in Butler County Jail as of Friday, according to the Sheriff’s office.

He is expected to wear a GPS monitor as he awaits his trial under Honorary Judge Daniel E. Haughey, according to Butler County Clerk online records.

A support rally for Katelyn was held at Creekside Park in Fairfield on Saturday with family and friends attending as they continue to honor her and hope for closure in this cold case.

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