The Disappearance of Paige Johnson: 10 Years After 17-Year-Old Mom Vanished, Man Charged in Case

Paige Johnson, a young mother, was just 17 when she disappeared.
Paige Johnson, a young mother, was just 17 when she disappeared.Handout

Authorities still don't know how Paige Johnson died.

It has been 10 years since 17-year-old Paige Johnson was last seen leaving a party, and a man who claimed to have dropped her off after has now been charged in connection to her disappearance. Jacob Bumpass, 32, was taken into custody at a traffic stop Wednesday and charged with tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse.

Johnson, a young mother to a baby girl, had been attending a party with friends the night of September 23, 2010. Bumpass, who was 22 at the time, was also at the party, and claimed he had dropped her off in Covington, Kentucky.

While it is not known how Johnson died, hunters in Clermont County stumbled upon her remains in March. They told investigators they found a burnt skull and additional human remains nearby, WLWT reported.

Authorities said that when questioned, Bumpass had inconsistencies in his story. Police said Johnson's cell phone signal was traced to a tower in East Fork Lake, Ohio, about 25 miles away where Bumpass claimed to have dropped her off. That tower was about 1.5 miles from where her body was found, cops said.

"I filled up with so much joy when I found out that he was arrested because I've known from the very first day that he knew where she was and he wouldn't cooperate with us and he put us through, he put us through so much pain," Johnson’s mother, Donna, said in a statement Tuesday.

Bumpass was arraigned Wednesday morning and pleaded not guilty to all charges. He has posted $50,000 bond.