Arrest made after remains of missing Kentucky teen found 10 years later

Posted at 8:15 AM, July 29, 2020 and last updated 11:51 AM, July 11, 2023


CINCINNATI, Ohio (Court TV) — An arrest has been made four months after the remains of 17-year-old Paige Johnson were found in Ohio.

Authorities arrested Jacob Bumpass on July 28, 2020, on charges of tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse in Clermont County, Ohio. Bumpass was the last person to see Johnson alive when she disappeared ten years ago. During the initial investigation in 2010, Bumpass was never named a suspect.

jacob bumpass mugshot

FILE – Jacob Bumpass (Clermont County Sheriff’s Office)

Johnson was last seen September 23, 2010, at a party in Covington. The young mother of a two-year-old daughter had attended the party with her friend, Bumpass, who was reportedly the last person to see her alive.

Bumpass told authorities he dropped Johnson off at the intersection of 15th St. and Scott Blvd. around 1:00 a.m., however, his cellphone never pinged in that area. His cellphone instead reportedly pinged near Johnson’s home in Florence, then later near East Fork State Park in Clermont County, Ohio.

The investigation into Johnson’s disappearance went on, and Bumpass was never named a suspect or charged.

In a press release, Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders said, “No one has been honest with police about their interactions with Mr. Bumpass, what he said, what he may have told them, where he may have been. His own family, his friends, his relatives, have all gotten in the way of police investigations in a number of different turns.”

Johnson’s case went cold until March 2020, when after nearly ten years, her remains were found across state lines in Clermont County, Ohio. Authorities said her body was found in a wooded area near Williamsburg Township, about 30 miles east of where she was last seen.

Investigators believe having found Johnson’s remains will finally provide answers. They want those questioned in the past to come forward now with the truth. Sanders said, “So, I think it’s only fair that the people that could have answered these questions ten years ago are now having to live with some uncertainty in their lives about whether the next knock they hear on the door is going to be a detective with an arrest warrant.”