Reunited Cleveland families spark hope for local missing cases

Paige Johnson was last heard from in the early-morning hours of Sept. 23, 2010.
Paige Johnson was last heard from in the early-morning hours of Sept. 23, 2010.

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Tri-State police and search groups are hopeful the news of reunited families in Cleveland will spur people to come forward with new tips on local cases.

"This obviously does give everyone hope and that's something that we've kept kind of at the heart of this investigation all along," Covington Police Chief Spike Jones told FOX19.

Over the last two and a half years the search for Paige Johnson has been kept alive by vigils, Facebook pages, and now by a story 250 miles away.

"Anything that brings attention to this case and maybe gives folks a reason to ask a couple of questions of their neighbors, to report some things that they've heard is always a benefit to us," Chief Jones said. "Our best resource is our community."

Meanwhile, Covington is not the only community searching for answers.

"The general public, they have no idea how many people go missing in this country let alone in their own city," said David Rader of Texas Equusearch.

Just in Ohio there are over 250 ongoing missing persons cases according to the Attorney General's Office website.

"You always hear the bad side of this and then all of the sudden this comes out of the blue and not just one girl was found but you have all three," Rader said. "That's a banner day in our world."

At the same, time Chief Spike Jones cautions that every case is unique.

"We don't want to take information from a different investigation and try to comingle it to invent something that maybe doesn't exist," he argued.

His department is moving forward with cautious optimism that Paige Johnson's family can find their own closure.

"We've always had hope that we'd find Paige and recover Paige," Jones said. "We're still looking at it optimistically."

FOX19 spoke with a family member of Paige Johnson Tuesday who says the news out of Cleveland both brings hope and also difficult emotions tied to the ongoing search for the missing teen.

To search a national database for missing children you can search the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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