Kentucky teen Paige Johnson's remains found 10 years after she went missing in case that left cops puzzled
On September 23, 2010, Paige Johnson was reportedly dropped off at 15th and Scott streets in Covington by her friemd Jacob Bumpass. That was the last time anyone saw her alive
COVINGTON, KENTUCKY: Law enforcement announced on Wednesday how the remains of a northern Kentucky teenager had been found after she went missing nearly a decade ago. On September 23, 2010, Paige Johnson was reportedly dropped off at 15th and Scott streets in Covington by her friemd Jacob Bumpass. That was the last time anyone saw her alive.
Covington police have now revealed that the human remains found Sunday morning near Williamsburg Township in Clermont County are Paige's, as confirmed by the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office.
A woman dialed 911 to report that her husband had found a burned human skull while he was out deer hunting, per a transcription of the call released Wednesday.
However, authorities are yet to establish a cause of death.
Speaking to Fox 19 Now Morning News, Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders called the discovery "monumental."
“Paige Johnson is coming home. It’s monumental," he said. “We’re just so glad her family will have some closure.”
The teenager's parents were notified early Wednesday. “Obviously this was not the outcome anyone wanted,” Covington Police Chief Rob Nader said at a news conference. “We would ask that during this difficult time the family’s privacy be respected."
Covington law enforcement as well as Attorney Sanders never gave up on the case over the past decade. They were determined to bring justice and resolution to Paige's devastated family. “The trail goes hot and cold but we are always on the case. We’ll never give up till her family has closure and justice is served,” Sanders said last year.
According to a report by Fox 19 Now, police were planning to review the cold case this year so they could examine any new leads and explore latest technologies that would help them test evidence.
And during a live interview on their station, Sanders became emotional.
“It’s kind of hard,” he said, tearing up. "It’s an emotional case for us. "
In fact, Covington police wanted to make sure the remains were confirmed to be Paige as soon as they received the call about the recovery. They wouldn't contact her family without confirmation. When they checked it out themselves, they were relieved -- there would finally be some closure for Paige's family and everyone involved in the case.
Covington authorities can now finally move forward with trying to solve the mystery of her disappearance and thoroughly investigate her death.
“A lot of ways, you feel relief but you still have a lot of questions about why she disappeared in the first place,” the chief said. “So after you had that moment of relief where you could tell her mom, you went right back to work to find out why she disappeared in the first place.”
“There were multiple witnesses that refused to cooperate with the police, refused to talk to police, flat-out made false claims," Sanders said.
Sanders recalled how someone had made a false claim that resulted in authorities digging a hole as big as an “Olympic-size pool” to search for Paige, thereby describing the frustration for detectives over the years.