New search for body of missing person Paige Johnson turns up few new clues

A tip led police to search an old cistern

FLORENCE, Ky. - Hope was momentarily renewed in the search for information regarding the disappearance of Paige Johnson Saturday when a tip led police to an old cistern in Latonia, Ky.

However, police called off their search around 4:30 p.m. after finding little more than a collection of animal bones, pieces of broken pottery and disappointment during their day-long search.

Johnson has been missing since Sept. 23, 2010. She was 17 years old at the time of her disappearance.

Police were acting on a tip that Johnson's body might have been dumped in an old cistern located at the former site of a pottery store called Paint Yourself Silly. The owner, Lisa Little, held a vigil for Paige Johnson not long after she went missing in October 2010. The store closed not long after the vigil was held.

Paige Johnson's cousin, Alisa Johnson, stopped by along with other relatives to check out the Decoursey Avenue scene.

"We are never giving up," Alisha Johnson said.

While the family and friends of Paige Johnson held out hope that the mystery surrounding her disappearance would finally be solved, Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders wasn't quite so optimistic.

 "This is a tip out of left field compared to all the information Covington police have gathered so far so I don't hold out a lot of hope," Sanders said during the early portion of the search.

Sanders said the officers did find bones during they investigation but they didn't appear to be human remains.

"It's confirmed to be some sort of animal bone, don't know what kind of animal," Sanders said during the search. "In an abundance of caution, they are going to keep digging and sift through all of it to make sure there's no human remains mixed in with these animal remains that have already been found."

Even though Saturday's effort was called off, the search for Paige Johnson hasn't been. Sanders said his office will get back to looking for leads in the case.

"We will leave no stone unturned…We will move on to the next step of the investigation which is looking for more leads."

9 On Your Side reporter Shannon Kettler contributed to this report.

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