Investigator connects dots between Katelyn Markham and man arrested on perjury charge
The notorious case of Markham’s slaying has garnered attention nationwide.
FAIRFIELD, Ohio (WXIX) - The man arrested Friday in relation to the Katelyn Markham case was one of Markham’s neighbors and friends, according to a private investigator who has looked into the case.
The Butler County Prosecutor’s Office on Friday confirmed the arrest of Jonathan Palmerton on one count of perjury for allegedly lying to investigators. Palmerton remains at the Butler County Jail as of this writing.
Markham was last seen at her Fairfield apartment on Aug. 13, 2011, police said at the time. Her remains were discovered at a dump site in Cedar Grove, Indiana in April 2013.
[FOX19′s Crime Vault: Who killed Katelyn Markham?]
Palmerton’s arrest is the first in the case, and according to private investigator J. Ryan Green, it indicates that investigators are making progress.
“Whoever’s investigating this now is on the right track,” Green said. “They’ve got momentum and they have something that would allow a judge to sign off on a search warrant.”
Green worked the Markham case as a private investigator in Florida. He spent years interviewing people and even putting together a podcast revealing what he’d learned.
Green says Markham and Palmerton were part of the same circle of friends and hung out together. He also says Palmerton lived close to Markham when she vanished, close enough to be considered a neighbor.
Green interviewed Palmerton in 2015 as part of his investigation. During that interview, according to Green, Palmerton denied knowing anything about what happened to Markham. Green says Palmerton agreed to take a polygraph but never showed up for one.
“He didn’t really have any first-hand knowledge, according to him, when he was talking to me,” Green said of Palmerton. “Now, again, we’re talking about someone that perjured himself, so we don’t know what was true. We don’t know what he was holding back. We don’t know, you know, if he falsified anything that I asked him... But it is very interesting that, you know, they did the search warrants, and now he’s in jail for perjury.”
Sometime recently, prior to Palmerton’s arrest, investigators executed two search warrants on separate properties. One property is where Palmerton lived in 2011, a house on Ann Court in Fairfield.
The other property is where Markham’s fiancé at the time, John Carter, lived. Carter was allegedly the last person to see Markham alive and called 911 to report her disappearance. Retired Butler County Detective Frank Smith has said Carter was “scrutinized very heavily during this case,”
“A lot of times in these cases, you’ll see small changes, and then they get bigger and bigger and bigger... and then boom! You’ve got a murder charge on somebody,” Green said. “Now, I’m not saying that Jon Palmerton murdered Katelyn Markham. But did he lie about something he knew about somebody else? Did he lie about something that occurred? And then he admitted that, ‘Yeah, I lied about it?’”
Green also claims Palmerton has connections to Michael Strouse. He provided a photo showing the two together at a festival.
Strouse, a convicted killer in another case, popped up on investigators’ radar in 2018. He allegedly shares mutual friends with Carter and allegedly confessed to a fellow inmate that he killed a second woman named Shelly and left her body by a creek.
Investigators have not said whether they have connected Strouse to Katelyn’s case in any way, but Fairfield police and West Chester police have had meetings.
Palmerton has hired an attorney and will be arraigned at 11 a.m. Wednesday before Butler County Municipal Court Judge Jennifer McElfresh.
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