Covington Police Chief Robert Nader said he had hoped for almost a decade that Paige Johnson would be found alive.
That hope evaporated on Tuesday, when the Hamilton County coroner confirmed that human remains found near Williamsburg Township were those of Johnson.
“Obviously, this was not the outcome any of us wanted … but it also ends the uncertainty of not knowing, and it brings us a step closer to solving the mystery of her disappearance,” Nader said.
A passerby called the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday when they found what looked like human remains, Lt. Brian Valenti said.
Johnson had just turned 17 when she was reported missing to the Covington Police Department on Sept. 23, 2010.
Alicen Franks, Johnson’s cousin, said the “family is so relieved that this 10-year ordeal can finally come to an end and they can start to process.”
After Johnson went missing, police said a friend claimed he dropped her off in Covington after they both attended a party.
“Actually a really awful, dodgy corner,” Franks previously told WCPO, “but his phone never pinged there. It pinged in East Fork Lake, so we have some interest going on there.”
Officials did not say where exactly the remains were found.
The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office identified the remains as those of Johnson on Tuesday. Johnson's family was notified Wednesday morning.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.
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