Authorities find burned skull of a teen mom from Kentucky in an Ohio woods

The remains of Paige Johnson were found on Sunday morning near Williamsburg Township in Clermont County, approximately 45 minutes away from her parent’s home in Florence, Kentucky

Ohio authorities have found the remains of a 17-year-old mother in a wooded area less than an hour from her family’s Kentucky home, 10 years after she went missing.

Paige Johnson were found on Sunday morning near Williamsburg Township in Clermont County, approximately 45 minutes away from her parent’s home in Florence, Kentucky.

A woman alerted authorities to the scene, informing them that her husband had found a burned human skull just off the highway while he had been hunting for deer, the Daily Beast reports. 

The Clermont County Sheriff’s Office, Covington police and the Clermont County coroner all responded to the scene. There, they found additional items that are believed to be associated with the body. 

The teen’s remains were identified on Wednesday using dental records. 

Johnson was reported missing by her older sister – Brittany Haywood – on September 23, 2010, after attending a party with friends the night before. 

‘We all wanted to find Paige alive,’ Covington Police Chief Rob Nader said at a Wednesday press conference. ‘Today, I’m sad to say that hope evaporated entirely.’

 

The Clermont County Sheriff's Office, Covington police and the Clermont County coroner all responded to the scene

The Clermont County Sheriff's Office, Covington police and the Clermont County coroner all responded to the scene

The Clermont County Sheriff’s Office, Covington police and the Clermont County coroner all responded to the scene

At the scene, police found additional items that are believed to be associated with the body

At the scene, police found additional items that are believed to be associated with the body

At the scene, police found additional items that are believed to be associated with the body

The police chief shared that Johnson’s mother was notified of the discovery just moments before the conference. 

‘A lot of ways, you feel relief but you still have a lot of questions about why she disappeared in the first place,’ Nader continued. ‘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.’ 

Alicen Franks, an older cousin to the teen, expressed ‘relief that after nine and a half years — we found her.’ 

Franks said that when she was informed of the news by authorities, she was jumping between ‘happy and angry screams.’ She expressed gratitude at finally getting to bury her cousin. 

Johnson was reported missing by her older sister - Brittany Haywood - on September 23, 2010, after attending a party with friends the night before

Johnson was reported missing by her older sister - Brittany Haywood - on September 23, 2010, after attending a party with friends the night before

Johnson was reported missing by her older sister – Brittany Haywood – on September 23, 2010, after attending a party with friends the night before

‘I do feel like this huge burden has lifted a little bit, to know that we’re not crazy and that something bad had actually happened to her,’ Franks said. ‘Now, we just want to bury her and give her the send-off she deserves.’ 

The teen's remains were identified on Wednesday using dental records. She is seen here in an age progression image

The teen's remains were identified on Wednesday using dental records. She is seen here in an age progression image

The teen’s remains were identified on Wednesday using dental records. She is seen here in an age progression image

Frank added that Donna Johnson, Paige’s mother, was also grateful for the discovery but ‘upset because she wants to bury her daughter’s whole body.’ 

‘It’s been hell on earth for her these last several years,’ Franks added. 

Authorities did not reveal Johnson’s cause of death on Wednesday but are hoping the discovery of her body will help open doors in her case. 

At the time of Johnson’s disappearance in 2010, authorities questioned Jacob Bumpass. 

The at-the-time 22-year-old had picked Johnson up from her mother’s home to take her to the party, and he later told police he dropped the teen at an Covington intersection 15 minutes from her home.

‘It was hard for authorities to find out any information from people who were at the party,’ Franks said. ‘Everyone there was partying—drinking and some even doing drugs—so they all had slightly different stories and it was pretty unclear what exactly happened that night.’ 

Phone records, however, indicated that Bumpass was actually in Florence at the time he said he dropped Johnson off. Bumpass also made a call that night from East Fork State Park in Clermont County at about 4.28am.

The location pinged was roughly one-and-a-half mile away from where authorities discovered Johnson’s body.

At the time of Johnson's disappearance in 2010, authorities questioned Jacob Bumpass. The at-the-time 22-year-old had picked Johnson up from her mother's home to take her to the party, and he later told police he dropped the teen at an Covington intersection 15 minutes from her home

At the time of Johnson's disappearance in 2010, authorities questioned Jacob Bumpass. The at-the-time 22-year-old had picked Johnson up from her mother's home to take her to the party, and he later told police he dropped the teen at an Covington intersection 15 minutes from her home

At the time of Johnson’s disappearance in 2010, authorities questioned Jacob Bumpass. The at-the-time 22-year-old had picked Johnson up from her mother’s home to take her to the party, and he later told police he dropped the teen at an Covington intersection 15 minutes from her home

Bumpass was never named a suspect in the case nor was he arrested.

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