WALTON, Ky. - Tears stream down Donna Johnson’s face seemingly all the time. Her grief is monumental. For 10 months, Donna Johnson has been frantically searching for her 17-year old daughter, Paige. “I want to bring her home!” she cries out. “I need to see her face again. I need to hold on to her. I want to bring her home.”
It was early in the morning on September 23 when the last known person saw Paige. Earlier in the evening, she told her mom “Jake” was coming to pick her up at their Florence home and take her to her older sister's apartment in Covington. Donna thought she said, “Jason,” a boy she knew well and trusted. So she gave her blessing and never saw Paige again.
The boy, Jake, turns out to be Jacob Bumpass. Donna says he admits he picked Paige up, says he took her to his apartment where they had some beer, then instead of taking Paige to her sister’s house, he says he left her at a downtown Covington street corner some two blocks away. And that’s it. Jacob, according to Donna, has “lawyered up.” She says he’s never spoken to the lead detective in the case and won’t submit to a lie detector test. She believes he definitely knows where Paige is, and that he had something to do with her disappearance.
Covington police picked Bumpass up on a probation violation. He’s still serving out that time in the Kenton County jail.
Meanwhile, Donna Johnson’s heart is broken.
“I don’t sleep. I can’t sleep,” she said through sobs. “I have other children, and I love them, but something’s missing. Something’s gone. My daughter isn’t here.”
Donna isn’t the only one left behind. Paige has a daughter, Makenzie, who recently celebrated her 3rd birthday.
“Everyone was there but Paige,” cried Donna. “She should have been there.”
She says Makenzie will see pictures of her mother, point to them and say, ‘that’s my mommy’, but she fears if Paige doesn’t return that her daughter will soon forget her.
When asked what she thinks happened to Paige, Donna Johnson cries harder. She thinks something terrible has happened to her daughter.
“I feel it in my soul,” she said.
And she believes at least one person knows what happened to Paige and begs that person or persons to come forward.
“I don’t care if the police never do anything to them. I just want Paige to come home.”
Tanya's full interview with Paige Johnson's mom will air Sunday on 9 News at 6 p.m.
For more on Missing Children, visit http://www.wcpo.com/missing .
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