CLERMONT COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Paige Johnson’s loved ones say they are still hoping more answers will surface after her remains were recovered in Clermont County Sunday morning.
Paige, who was a mother herself, was just 17-years-old when she vanished from Covington on September 23, 2010.
“I am happy that my baby’s been found and that I get to bring her home now where she belongs, and she’s not out there alone like she has been for so long," Paige’s mother Donna said.
Ten years later, Covington police say Paige’s remains were found in a wooded area in Clermont County off of State Route 276.
“The world lost such a wonderful soul that night. She was full of life,” Donna said. "She had so much spunk. She could make you laugh. She was very funny.”
Although Donna fears that her heart will never fully heal, she is thankful for the constant community support and says she appreciates the investigators and search crews who have never given up.
Donna says they have searched the site where Paige’s remains were found in the past.
It was not until Sunday that a man hunting for deer antlers said he stumbled across her skull.
“He was pretty shooken up," Angela Kendel, the wife of the man who found the remains, said. "I know he’s grateful that he found it ya know because it’s been so many years, and it can give some closure to the family.”
David Rader with Texas EquuSearch has been helping Covington investigators with the case. He says he is on-site again now, helping them find fresh evidence.
“It’s not so much the size of it, it’s what we’re running against, the obstacles. I mean it’s very thick," Rader said. "It’s very swampy. It’s very muddy, so it takes a little bit of time to sit there and go through each grid that we’re doing.”
Although there is nothing Donna can do to bring her daughter back, she says she will always keep Paige’s memory alive.
“I love her and miss her more than anything, and she was my baby," Donna said. “She was my baby. She is my baby always.”
Search crews said they expect to return to the site again on Wednesday and possibly on Thursday to continue looking for evidence.
Rader said he believes the location will play a big role in the investigation.
Anyone with information about Paige’s disappearance is asked to contact Greater Cincinnati Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).