After receiving this story from friend of the site UberSpork, I was hesitant about posting this story. Passions seem to be high in the area where the crime took place and there has been a lot of drama surrounding it. I was afraid of inviting some of that drama on to the site but I decided to go ahead with the post anyway because at the heart of it a little girl’s murder has gone unsolved for 12-years.
In 2006, in Jeffersonville, Ohio, 8-year-old Mackenzie Branham died in a fire at her mother’s home that investigators ruled as arson. Mackenzie’s mother and her boyfriend were able to escape the blaze but claimed the fire was too intense to save Mackenzie. Since the fire, no arrests have been made and last year it was made public that evidence in the case that potentially contained DNA evidence was destroyed three months into the investigation and was never reported. Specifically, the clothes Mackenzie was wearing the night of the fire had been destroyed and Mackenzie’s father, Donald Branham, didn’t find this out until last year. That’s 11-years without knowing that evidence that could potentially identify your daughter’s killer had been destroyed.
There are other aspects and accusations of the story that I’m not comfortable getting into since while they are feasible the accusations have not been legally been proven. However, it should be mentioned that Donald Branham has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
A child’s murder, especially one in such a horrific manner, should not go unsolved this long.
Anyone with information about the deadly arson is asked to call the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at 740-335-6170.
If you or someone you know lives in a small town or neighborhood and knows of a crime that you think deserves more attention than it’s getting, please contact me.