UPDATED 10:23 AM PT — Thursday, March 26, 2020
After ten years of searching for Paige Johnson, a 17-year-old from Kentucky, police confirmed they found her remains in a wooded area in Ohio.
Over the weekend, a local woman called 9-1-1 while her husband was out hunting and found what he believed to be a burned human skull near Williamsburg Township.
Covington Police Chief Robert Nader said although the outcome of the decade-long search is devastating, there is now closure for Johnson’s family.
“We traveled to the home of Paige’s mother Donna earlier this morning to give her the news. “There remain many questions and much work before we can find the answers to those questions; obviously this was not the outcome any of us wanted.”
Police said they are not able to determine a cause of death at this time.
Johnson was last seen in September of 2010 with her friend Jacob Bumpass’ — who says he dropped her off in Covington around 1:00 a.m. after they attended a party together.
According to a website created by her loved ones, however, Bumpass’s phone never pinged in that area at the time and since the incident he has never spoken about what could have happened to her.
Police confirmed Bumpass is a person of interest in the case, adding that “his phone communicated with a tower that is a mile or two from where her body was found.”
Though questions surrounding Johnson’s disappearance and death still remain, investigators promise to continue searching for answers.
“I suspect there’s probably at least a couple people out there that ought to be really nervous right now and I’m glad, because those are the people that could’ve brought some compassion and some answers to Paige’s family a long, long time ago,” said Rob Sanders, attorney for Kenton County Commonwealth. “And they chose not to do that, so those are the people that ought to be worried right now.”
Paige is coming home. 😞
— Rob Sanders (@KYprosecutor) March 25, 2020