BUTLER COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Almost seven years after Chelsea Johnson was murdered in Butler County, her family is painfully celebrating what would have been her 22nd birthday.
If Johnson was still alive, by now, she would likely have a driver’s license, would be able to vote and would be starting a career. She would also be celebrating turning 22.
“She’d be so beautiful, caring," said Vicky Fible, her mother. "I miss her, miss her so much.”
Instead, Johnson’s family is celebrating her birthday without her.
“We’ll never see her get married, raise a family of her own," said Phil Johnson, her grandfather.
There are no candles or cake, or wrapped gifts ready to open, just her loved ones leaning on each other for support.
“We go to her grave site, balloons, flowers, you know, sing happy birthday," said Fible.
Another birthday, to them, means another year without justice.
By all accounts, Johnson was a bright light. Her relatives described her as a bubbly, happy 15-year-old who was aspiring to become a veterinarian. Her mother, Fible, adored her, as did her grandparents.
Investigators in Fairfield and in Butler County said Chelsea Johnson was stabbed to death in April 2012. Her body was found behind an apartment complex in Fairfield. No one has been charged or arrested for her murder.
Her family members say they are losing hope.
“They say time heals all wounds, and it doesn’t," said Phil Johnson.
An official with the Butler County Sheriff’s Office said that they regularly review the case, looking for new angles, but right now, they do not have any new leads to work on.
“Me and my family are suffering because justice still isn’t done," said Fible.
Johnson may never be able to blow out another birthday candle, but her friends and family said they can, and they know exactly which wishes they would like to see come true.
“I hope someday, if there is life after death, I’ll get to see her one more time," said Phil Johnson.
In 2012, investigators named George Donald Davis II as a person of interest in Johnson’s case. He was ultimately accused of offering Johnson drugs for sex the day she disappeared. He spent time in prison for those charges, but he has not been charged for Johnson’s death.
Detectives have not identified the person of interest that they announced they had in November 2016. They have not said whether that person of interest is Davis II or someone else. You can read more background about Johnson’s case here.