Paige Johnson: Man indicted in death of Kentucky teenage mom 10 years after her mysterious disappearance
Johnson's remains were found near Williamsburg Township in Clermont County earlier this year
COVINGTON, KENTUCKY: An acquaintance of a Kentucky teenager, who went missing ten years ago and whose remains were found in March, was indicted on July 28. Jacob Bumpass was reportedly the last person to see Paige Johnson alive as he dropped off the 17-year-old at 15th Street and Scott Boulevard in Covington after a party in September 2010. Bumpass has been indicted on charges of abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. However, since the case is still under investigation, other charges may follow. The indictment comes after the teen mother’s remains were found on March 25 near Williamsburg Township in Clermont County, Ohio, approximately 45 minutes away from her Florence home. Though Bumpass was not named the suspect in the case until July 28, he had faced interrogation in the missing case. The suspect has been held without bond at the Clermont County Jail.
Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders said he wished homicide charges would follow, but at this point, nothing can be said as the cause of death is yet to be determined. “We don't know if she was shot or stabbed or died of a drug overdose. So we're going to go with. The charges we know Clermont County prosecutors can convict on,” Sanders said. He added: “(Bumpass) put this family through so much trauma and so much agony. Compared to the agony that Paige’s family has been put through, these are relatively minor charges.”
Meanwhile, Paige's mother, Donna Johnson, said the news of Bumpass in jail made her very happy. She said that the moment her daughter vanished, she knew he was involved. “I knew from that moment. The guilt on his face,” the mother added. Donna continued: “Every day for the past 10 years I’ve been sad. I was afraid I would end up dying without knowing where my child was... He put us through so much pain.”
Paige's elder sister, Brittany Haywood, also said that she has “known from the beginning who the guilty party was”. “Right now I am in a complete state of euphoria knowing that Jacob Bumpass has been arrested and will finally have to answer for his actions after remaining silent for nearly 10 years,” she added.
In 2010, Bumpass was 22-year-old when Paige disappeared. He was reportedly the one who picked her up on the evening of September 22 from her mother’s Florence home. When he was questioned by police after Paige went missing, he told them he dropped her off at the intersection of 15th Street and Scott Boulevard in Covington, however, the investigators said his phone location showed him near the victim’s home. In addition to the police investigation, several efforts were made to find Paige, including vigils and Facebook pages, seeking clues about her disappearance, but none of them helped. The teenager was the mother of a then 2-year-old daughter, Makenzie, when she vanished. Makenzie now lives with her father’s family. Sanders said the investigation into Paige’s disappearance was frustrating since the beginning as several witnesses lied, did not tell the full story, and made false claims. He added that once a false claim even took investigators to Knox County where they "dug a hole the size of an Olympic-sized swimming pool" searching for her remains.