New Ohio cold case unit looking into unsolved homicide of Fairfield 15-year-old

Chelsea Johnson

The unsolved homicide case of a 15-year-old Fairfield teen will get a fresh look from the Ohio Attorney General’s Cold Case Unit.

The new unit based at the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation reaches out to local law enforcement agencies to initiate a fresh look at unsolved cases. The unit offers new forensic analysis and investigative resources, according to Steve Irwin, BCI spokesman.

On the two-year anniversary of Chelsea Johnson’s homicide in Fairfield, family and friends, including Chelsea’s mother Vicky Fible, center, held a vigil outside the Butler County Government Services Center in Hamilton, Wednesday, April 16, 2014. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Credit: Greg Lynch

Credit: Greg Lynch

The case of Chelsea Johnson, 15, who was found stabbed to death in April 2012 near a creek close to the intersection of Pleasant Avenue and Nilles Road, is one the unit is now working to solve.

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“We can make a difference, even when years have passed since a murder or sexual assault,” Attorney General Dave Yost said in announcing the new unit. “The passage of time can actually help, in that some witnesses become more willing to cooperate and technology advances. Consider, for example, how DNA testing has unmasked, time and again, violent criminals who got away with living among us for too long.”

Johnson was a student at Fairfield Options Academy when she was killed. George D. Davis II, of Cincinnati, was sent to prison for drug trafficking, importuning, and having weapons under disability for attempting to exchange heroin for sex with Johnson, but was never charged in connection with her slaying. He was released from prison in 2017, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Davis was arrested in May in Hamilton County on a felony charge of promoting prostitution and is awaiting trial.

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Authorities have said a grand jury did not return an indictment against a suspect in the case, despite a year-long investigation in which the Butler County Sheriff’s Office took a fresh look.

Fairfield Detective Doug Day said the department investigates all leads. Irwin said the Cold Case Unit is investigating the case at the request of Fairfield police.

In a June interview, Vicky Fible, Johnson’s mother, expressed frustration about the lack of progress in her daughter’s case and said she hasn’t communicated with Fairfield police in years.

Fible said she believes the case was botched from the beginning because detectives placed blame on her. After further investigation, including her passing lie detector tests, “I cleared my name,” she said.

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