Vigil held for Paige Johnson, missing 2 years from Covington - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Vigil held for Paige Johnson, missing 2 years

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COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) -

Its been two years since a Florence teenager disappeared in Covington and hasn't been seen or heard from since.

A vigil was held Sunday evening for Paige Johnson.

Johnson was last seen in Covington Sept. 23, 2010, but despite dozens of searches and leads all have come up short.

Jacob Bumpass admitted to dropping her off that night and was the last person to see her.

He's long been a person of interest, but has never been charged.

Bumpass was recently released from prison for a parole violation from a separate incident.

About a year ago Paige's mother declared her legally dead.

However, friends and some family members are holding out hope.

Paige's grandmother, Jenny Roderick says the past two years have been surreal.

"Feels like a lifetime to tell you the truth and then it feels like it was yesterday," said Roderick.

Roderick says the teenager's disappearance has been especially hard on Paige's mother, who found it too painful to attend today's vigil.

"I didn't want to come either, but when I realized that I wasn't going to be able to make my daughter come I figured that I needed to come for her, you know. I needed to come for her so that people know that we are never, ever, ever going to give up looking for Paige," said Roderick. 

The ordeal has been hard on all of Paige's family and friends, but her cousin Alicen Franks says she's hoping the vigil will help generate  answers the family needs.

"I just want to keep the word out about Paige. I really believe that people know what happened," said Franks. "She was with different friends and so my hope is by keeping her name out there...us all getting together...remembering her that someone will come forward and say something I know is weighing on their heart."

Paige's best friend, Abby Schmitz, says the past two years have weighed heavily on her.

"Seems like a big dream. I didn't think it was possible not to have my best friend around anymore," she said.

Franks says the sadness her family has endured is nearly crushing. "I've seen it add so much grief to people's everyday life and that grief happening to our family is hard for anyone to function as usual."

Roderick says functioning as usual takes on a whole different meaning when you feel your heart has been ripped out, but she still clings to hope. 

"I always try to keep just a little bit of hope. I know my daughter doesn't have any hope. She definitely thinks Paige is in heaven and she wants her home," said Roderick.

The family is convinced somebody somewhere knows where Paige is and they are offering a $3,500 reward for information that will bring the disappearance to a close.

Anyone with information is urged to call Covington police or the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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