No indictment in Fairfield teen’s unsolved homicide

Nearly a year after Butler County Sheriff’s detectives joined forces with the Fairfield Police Department to take a fresh look at the unsolved homicide of Chelsea Johnson, a grand jury has failed to return an indictment against a suspect in her death.

Johnson, a 15-year-old Fairfield Options Academy student, was found stabbed to death April 15, 2012, near a Fairfield creek close to the intersection of Pleasant Avenue and Nilles Road. Her killer remains unknown and uncharged, but investigators recently believed they’d gathered enough evidence against a potential suspect to present their case to a grand jury.

However, court documents filed Tuesday morning at the Butler County Clerk of Courts office stated, “After consideration of all of the facts in the case presented to it by the prosecuting attorney of Butler County, which included two days of testimony and the presentation of nine witnesses, the grand jury has returned no indictment” against the suspect.

Last April, Vicky Fible, Chelsea’s mother, lead a protest in front of the county Government Services Center out of frustration that her daughter’s killer had not been found. The next day, the sheriff’s office announced it would also begin investigating the case.

Sheriff Richard Jones said Tuesday that his office, as well as Fairfield, is not letting up on the investigation.

“This is still an ongoing case,” Jones said. “As more evidence comes up, we can take another bite at it.”

Both departments worked the case hard, Jones said, and they would have liked to have had an indictment.

“The grand jury system is the best system in the world,” Jones said. “It was set up to protect people from getting indicted for crimes they didn’t do. And I am alright with that.”

Jones added: “We were able to get it to this grand jury — that had not been done before.”

Fairfield Police have stated they are confident they know who killed Chelsea, but no one has been arrested or charged for the crime.

Fairfield Police Chief Michael Dickey said the department has “a lot of information” about Johnson’s death and will continue to gather more.

“We are going to continue to investigate until we get to where we need to be,” Dickey said. He added the detectives worked “heart and soul” in getting the case to the grand jury.

“This is not over,” he said.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said the case is still very much open.

“There is still work to be done,” he said.

Gmoser said he met with Johnson’s family Tuesday morning and described them as emotional.

Family members said Fible was too distraught to talk, and Johnson’s grandfather, Phil Johnson, could not be reached for comment.

George Donald Davis, of Cincinnati, is serving a five-year-prison sentence on charges that he attempted to exchange heroin for sex with Chelsea, but he has never been charged with the teenager’s death.

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