Money becomes an issue in Paige search

FLORENCE, Ky. - The focus of the search for missing teen Paige Johnson hasturned toward the money raised during an event held last week.

Ryan Courtade with the Northern Kentucky Youth Foundation andDonna Johnson, mother of missing teen Paige Johnson, both spoke outon Wednesday.

On Oct. 15 friends and family gathered to raise money for thefamilies involved and the search effort. When it came time todistribute the money raised, people began to disagree.

Donna received a portion of the funds. The money for the rewardand search efforts were set aside, but the remaining $725 was setto go to family of the father of Paige's daughter.

According to Courtade, the father's family declined the money,asking it go toward the search effort and reward.

Donna, however, had something else in mind.  

"Paige didn't have a college fund.  I want Mackenzie tohave a college fund.  I want the rest of the money that's inthe bank to go to Mackenzie's college fund.  And the guy fromthe foundation said I completely understand and that's what willhappen.  So when we went down to get it the next day, it wasgone," said Donna.

According to Courtade Donna "wanted it for her own personaluses.  She said it was going to go towards the baby.  Butas far as I know we don't have any proof that that would havehappened."

Wednesday both parties decided the money issues should be setaside and the focus on Paige should resume.

"If her reward isn't paid out, that's fine, we'll put it towardMackenzie. We'll put it towards any other thing that has to do withPaige right now. But giving somebody $725 in my eyes towards atwo-year-olds college fund, it doesn't seem like the mostresponsible thing as well as it doesn't seem like the people thatattended the event on Friday night, that where they would want themoney to go towards," Courtade said.

"My child is missing and I have more important things to dealwith than all of this," Donna said.