Details of Disappearance
Markham was last seen at the Eckerd Pharmacy near her residence in Callahan, Florida shortly before 7:00 p.m. on December 14, 2000; she went there to pick up a prescription. She was scheduled to meet her boyfriend, Archie Carroll, for a date later in the evening. Carroll told authorities that she called him just before he left to pick her up at her residence. Markham said that a male acquaintance had arrived at her house unexpectedly and that he had been drinking. Carroll told her that he was still coming over, as he refused to let the other individual ruin their date. Markham agreed, but told Carroll to control his temper. She and the man had disappeared by the time Carroll arrived at her residence.
Carroll said that he was initially not concerned, as he thought Markham had driven the other man's home to avoid a possible confrontation with Carroll. Markham's vehicle was located in her garage shortly thereafter. Carroll called her family members and the authorities when she did not return by the following day.
All of Markham's personal belongings were located inside of her residence, and her car was in the garage with the medicine she'd bought lying on the passenger seat. Her family stated that it is extremely uncharacteristic of Markham to leave without warning. She was scheduled to attend a family party in Tampa, Florida the afternoon after she vanished, but never called or arrived as planned.
Markham's purse was discovered in a ditch outside of Berman Brothers Inc. on Evergreen Avenue in Jacksonville, Florida sometime after her disappearance. All of her credit cards and identification were found inside her purse, which was located fifteen miles from her home and several blocks from an abandoned railroad boxcar which served as Ross Lane Emerson's residence at the time. Emerson was eventually charged with the murders of two individuals in Florida and named a suspect in a man's death in Georgia after December 2000. Photos of Emerson are posted below this case summary. Investigators questioned him regarding Markham's case after he was apprehended. Emerson maintained his innocence in her disappearance. He committed suicide in his jail cell in Florida in October 2001. Emerson stated in his suicide note that he was not involved in Markham's case. Authorities and Markham's family believe that he was most likely telling the truth.
Markham was employed as a dispatcher at Cheetah Transportation in Jacksonville, Florida in 2000. She left behind three adult children as well as grandchildren. She kept in regular touch with her loved ones by cellular phone and it's uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning. Her family stated she was behaving normally at the time of her disappearance and in an upbeat frame of mind. Markham's case remains unsolved, but foul play is suspected in her disappearance.
Above Images: Emerson, circa 2000