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'Tears of Joy': Arrest Made 10 Years After Teen Vanished

Jacob Bumpass is facing charges in the lingering case of Paige Johnson
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2020 4:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – Ten years later, an arrest: Police have collared a suspect in the death of a Kentucky teen who vanished in 2010 and turned up dead earlier this year, WKYT reports. The suspect, Jacob Bumpass, has been indicted for tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse in the case of Paige Johnson. Authorities suspected him after he claimed he dropped off the 17-year-old in Covington after a party they attended, per People; his cell phone also pinged off a tower near the wooded area where Johnson's burned skull was found in March, some 30 miles east of Covington. Bumpass was "always the main suspect," Kenton County Commonwealth Prosecutor Rob Sanders tells Fox 19.

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Now Paige's family is grappling with the arrest. "I'm, like, 'Sis, it's over, like, he's finally going to be held accountable,'" her sister, Brittany Haywood, tells WLWT. "I am so happy. It's been tears of joy all day to know that he's behind bars." For Paige's mother, Donna Johnson, it's just a step: "No matter what happens, it's never going to be OK, but, you know, because this pain is just—there's days it's just too much, but I'm going to take today to be happy," she says. Bumpass could get four years behind bars on his current charges, but authorities say they're still investigating and more charges are possible. The 32-year-old was slated to stand before a judge on Wednesday. (Read more disappearance stories.)

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