Ohio man charged in death of Kentucky teen missing 10 years

CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man was charged in the death of a Kentucky teenager, whose body was recovered in March after being missing for almost 10 years.

Jacob Bumpass, 32, pleaded not guilty to charges related to the death and disappearance of Paige Johnson at a Clermont County, Ohio, court on Wednesday, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

Johnson, of Florence, Kentucky, was 17 years old when she was last seen at a party with friends on Sept. 23, 2010. Police questioned Bumpass at the time of her disappearance and have thought he was the last person to have seen her alive, the newspaper reported.

Bumpass was arrested Tuesday at a traffic stop and is charged with gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

An attempt by the newspaper to reach Bumpass was unsuccessful, and Bumpass’ lawyer Louis Sirkin didn’t provide comment after the hearing.

In March, investigators from the Clermont County Sheriff’s Department and Covington, Kentucky Police Department found Johnson’s body near Williamsburg Township, Ohio, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of where she was last seen. They had received a tip from someone who had discovered human remains there.

Investigators have searched multiple sites for Johnson’s body since she disappeared. Her body was found near a cellphone tower that Bumpass’s phone pinged the night she disappeared.

“Every day for the past 10 years I’ve been sad,“ Donna Johnson, Paige’s mother, said at a press conference in Covington, Kentucky, on Tuesday. “I was afraid I would end up dying without knowing where my child was.”

The judge in Ohio set a $50,000 bond for Bumpass on Wednesday.

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