Thursday, August 3, 2023

The Disappearance & Death of Paige Johnson

“GIRL. I need To Talk To You IMMEDIATELY!”

This message was the last known online communication from 17-year-old Paige Johnson, vanished on September 23rd, 2010. Paige posted this message on her sister Brittany’s (pictured above with Paige) Facebook page around midnight that night. Earlier that evening, she was last seen driving around Covington, Kentucky with 22-year-old Jacob Bumpass. Bumpass claims he dropped Paige off at 1:00 AM at 15th Street and Scott. She was never seen alive again.

Paige’s loved ones stated several times that it was very uncharacteristic for her to simply disappear. She left behind a two-year-old daughter. Paige also never indicated a desire to run away and stop communicating with her family and friends.

Over the years, many rumors spread on the web, speculating about what happened to Paige. There were two theories that seem to be the most prevalent: one is that Paige overdosed while taking drugs with Bumpass and he panicked and disposed of her body. The other is that Paige rejected Bumpass’ sexual advances and he snapped and killed her. Despite the rumors, Bumpass denied any involvement in her disappearance and authorities did not name him as a suspect for years—although they did state that he was uncooperative.

Nearly ten years later, Paige's remains were found. March 22nd, 2020, a woman called 911 after her husband reportedly found a burned human skull in a wooded area near East Fort State Park. Just days later, those remains were confirmed to be that of Paige Johnson.

Months later, on July 29th, 2020, Jacob Bumpass was indicted on charges related to Paige's disappearance.

Jacob Bumpass indicted in connection with the disappearance and ...

The previous day, it was announced that Jacob was being charged with tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. During a press conference, prosecutors stated that they simply do not have enough evidence to charge him with homicide, in part because Paige's cause of death has never been determined.

Nearly three years later, in July 2023, Jacob was found guilty of these charges. During the trial, prosecutors stated that Paige died while with Jacob during the early-morning hours of September 23rd, 2010. Jacob then left Paige's body unburied in a wooded area near State Route 276. 

Jacob still maintains his innocence and claims he does not know what happened to Paige. However, cell phone records indicate that he was in the area where Paige's body was found just hours after Paige was last seen by her loved ones. 

Paige's cause of death still remains unclear, so it is unknown if she was murdered or if she died under other circumstances. Jacob was later given the maximum sentence: 4 years in prison.

To this day, Paige's family members believe Jacob caused Paige's death. They hope he will one day face more charges in this case.

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