Trial Starts For The Last Person To See Missing Teen Paige Johnson Alive
Paige Johnson, a 17-year-old from Northern Kentucky, disappeared on Sept. 23, 2010. Nearly a decade later, her body was found on March 25, 2020. Now, the last man to see her alive is on trial in connection with her death.
Paige Johnson, a 17-year-old from Northern Kentucky, disappeared on Sept. 23, 2010, and her body was found nearly a decade later on March 25, 2020. Her remains were found in the woods, and all that was left was her jawbone, rib bone, and skull, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Shortly after her disappearance, Jacob Bumpass, 35, was determined to be the last person to see Johnson alive, and he is finally facing charges. However, he is not being charged with murder. Instead, he’s charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
Opening statements for his trial started in Clermont County Common Pleas Court on July 18, 2023. Prosecutors shared that a witness saw Johnson with Bumpass at his home on the evening of Sept. 22, 2010, and she was never seen again. Bumpass, who was 22 at the time, claims he dropped Johnson off at a home in Covington the next morning at around 1 a.m., but the cellphone records and other evidence tell a different story.
Prosecutors are not accusing Bumpass of murder, conceding that they don’t know how she died, but they do say that she died while with him in his home and that he then dumped her remains in the woods in Clermont County.
"Paige's remains were left in a forested area, left to the animals and environment, and left cold and alone. She was discovered discarded like a piece of trash," Clermont County Assistant Prosecutor Zachary Allan Zipperer said, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer.
On the opening day of the trial, Paige’s mother Donna Johnson testified. She stated how she didn’t approve of her daughter hanging out with Bumpass since he was 22 and her daughter was only 17. She also confirmed that the two were together on the night her daughter disappeared. When Johnson went to ask Bumpass about her daughter at his home, she said he shut the door in her face and refused to talk to her.
"Couldn't this person have just told us something bad happened and she could've had a funeral and we wouldn't be here 13 years later. All those nights that I would think and stay away and never be able to sleep because when I dreamed it was nightmares of where she was, where she was laying. Was she in the river? Was she buried somewhere," Johnson said on the stand, reported WLWT.
As the trial continued Wednesday, July 19, police officers testified. According to Fox 19, they said they found hair fibers and a spot of blood when they searched Bumpass’s home and vehicle.
Bumpass still maintains his innocence, and the trial is ongoing.
Paige Johnson, who had turned 17 just weeks before her death, was a young mom, and she is remembered lovingly by friends and family who still seek justice for her. The page, What Happened to Paige Johnson?, continues to be updated with news about Paige and her family’s search for justice.
26-year-old Madeline Jane Kingsbury went missing after she dropped her kids off at daycare on March 31, 2023. On June 7, her remains were found and her ex-boyfriend was arrested.