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Crews wrap up search for missing teen in state park
East Fork State Park was focus of search
Shannon Kettler, Shannon.Kettler@wcpo.com
8:56 AM, Oct 20, 2010
10:09 PM, Oct 20, 2010
BATAVIA, Ohio - Search crews are wrapping up their day-long search at EastFork State Park in Clermont County for 17-year-old PaigeJohnson.
The Florence teenager has been missing since Sept. 23.
"Obviously we'd like to find Paige Johnson and if we don't findPaige, any other evidence, clothing, items that could have beenused in a crime, certainly any of those things are things we wouldbe interested in," said Cpt. Teal Nally of the Covington PoliceDepartment.
More than 100 searchers from 30 different police and fireagencies along with 17 dog teams, both search and cadaver,performed a ground search of the park which is estimated at around4,800 acres.
The park is not closed to the public, but citizens are asked toavoid interfering with the search.
The searchers are focusing on paths located off majorroadways.
"The terrain could be flat and open field to a rough woodedarea. One minute you maybe on a flat terrain and the next you couldbe over an embankment so you have to be careful," said Lt. DavidDoyle of the Clermont County Sheriff's Department. "Safety is thepriority here for the searchers."
Clermont County has set up a communication post and providedradios to the search groups so they can communicate.
The reason the search is focusing on the Clermont County park isbecause cell phone records indicate that the man last seen withJohnson was in that area the night she disappeared.
Court records state 22-year-old Jacob Bumpass of Taylor Mill isthe last man to see Johnson.
Johnson was supposed to be dropped off at her sister's housearound 1 a.m. the day she went missing.
The teen, who has a 2-year-old daughter, never made it to hersister's home.
Police said Bumpass told them he dropped off Johnson at 15thStreet and Scott Boulevard, but search warrants filed by Covingtonpolice indicate otherwise.
An affidavit states Bumpass admitted to being with Johnson thenight of Sept. 22 and gave her alcohol.
Officers later searched his Taylor Mill Home on Decoursey Piketo find what appeared to be blood and two latex gloves in thekitchen sink, according to the affidavit.
Cell phone records belonging to Bumpass show he was nearJohnson's home at 1 a.m. and just after 4 a.m. at East Fork StatePark in Batavia, Ohio.
Bumpass is being held at the Kenton County jail on a probationviolation. He has not been charged in connection with Johnson'sdisappearance.
Covington police will re-group with the units to determine ifthey will continue searching tomorrow or another day.
CNN'S Nancy Grace will also do another segment on Paige JohnsonWednesday night at 8 p.m.
Johnson's friends have organized a candlelight vigil for Fridaynight. It will be held at Paint Yourself Silly on Decoursey Pike inCovington from 7-10 p.m.