Effingham Daily News 2/15/2007
NEWTON — Jasper County Sheriff Ed Francis said Thursday he is closing the 12-year
murder investigation of Stephanie Markovich during a rural Jasper County raft festival after
the suspect Charles Kent Harmon was found hanged in Pinckneyville Correctional Center.
Harmon became a suspect in the 1994 slaying of Markovich in late 2006 when state police
investigators learned of a DNA database match from Harmon with DNA evidence found on
Harmon was the person who found Markovich’s body on the afternoon following the raft
festival on July 17, 1994.
Markovich, 23, of Antioch, Calif., had attended the “Thunder on the Ambraw” raft race on
July 16 and was last seen at a late-night raft race party in a clubhouse known as “The Boar’
s Nest,” where more than 600 people were present.
Approximately 12 hours after she was last seen at the party, Markovich’s beaten and
stabbed body was found along the bank of the Embarras River south of Ste. Marie and
north of Yager Bridge at a location known as The Bend in Jasper County. Markovich had
lacerations to her neck, a broken jaw and a stab wound to her heart. The police
investigation indicated Markovich had had intercourse sometime before her death.
Markovich and two male friends had been temporarily staying in Oblong. She often moved
from state to state as a traveling tattoo artist.
According to a press release from the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, Harmon was
found Sunday hanged in his prison cell at Pinckneyville Correctional Center by Illinois
Department of Corrections personnel.
Harmon was serving two consecutive 54-month sentences for an unrelated criminal sexual
assault of a juvenile in 2003.
Investigators were preparing to obtain a new DNA sample from Harmon to confirm the
earlier match. According to the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, Harmon learned of
that intent last week.