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Guernsey County Man Arrested in 1986 Texas Cold Case


(CAMBRIDGE, Ohio) — A Quaker City man has been arrested for a 1986 homicide that occurred in Texas, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Guernsey County Sheriff Jeffrey D. Paden announced today.

Mark Gatten, 57, became a suspect in a cold case investigation initiated by the Texas Rangers, a division within that state’s Department of Public Safety. In March, the Rangers reviewed the 1986 death of 56-year-old Charles Robert Hardin, which occurred near Canyon Lake, Texas. Evidence in the case led investigators to Gatten and a second suspect, Tracey Loy, 56, of St. George, Utah.

“The combination of modern forensic technology and old-fashioned detective work can solve cold cases, even when there are many years and miles separating the culprits and their crimes,” Yost said. “BCI is proud to partner with law enforcement within Ohio and beyond.” 

The Texas Rangers requested the assistance of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Cold Case Unit and the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office in eastern Ohio. Gatten was taken into custody on May 26 and awaits extradition to Texas.

“Our office is pleased to have participated in this collaborative effort and grateful for its successful conclusion,” Sheriff Paden said.

BCI’s Cold Case Unit assists local law enforcement in finding answers for unsolved homicides and sexual assault cases. The unit utilizes a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses proven investigative resources and techniques from across BCI’s investigation division, criminal laboratory and Criminal Intelligence Unit.  

Steve Irwin: 614-728-5417


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