Paige Johnson supporters rally outside Clermont County courthouse as suspect arrives

Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 9:49 AM EDT
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BATAVIA, Ohio. (FOX19) - The man charged in the 2010 disappearance and death investigation of a 17-year-old northern Kentucky teen appeared in a Clermont County courtroom Monday morning and was met with a crowd of her supporters as he left.

Jacob Bumpas, 32, has pleaded not guilty to abusing Paige Johnson’s corpse and tampering with evidence. He is out on bond.

More Coverage | Paige Johnson’s family thankful after suspect arrested: ‘She’s not out there alone anymore’

Police said Bumpass was the last person to see Johnson alive in September 2010.

He has claimed he dropped her off in Covington before she vanished.

The evidence pointed elsewhere though, Kenton County prosecutors said.

On the morning of her disappearance, Bumpass’ cell phone records show he was in the area of East Fork Lake State Park, which is where Johnson’s remains were discovered in Clermont County back in March, according to Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders.

Sanders says Bumpass’ phone pinged off a cell phone tower just a mile or two away from where her body was found.

The charges Bumpass faces “are minor” Sanders said in comparison to the pain Johnson’s family experienced over the decade.

Because Johnson’s cause of death has yet to be determined, no homicide charge has been filed yet, Sanders says.

The prosecutor says that does not mean more charges are out of the question, though.

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