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Remains of Paige Johnson found nearly 10 years after her disappearance

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a woman smiling for the camera: Paige Johnson © Provided by WLWT Cincinnati Paige Johnson

Remains found in Clermont County on Sunday have been identified as Paige Johnson, a Northern Kentucky girl who went missing nearly 10 years ago.

Johnson was 17 years old when she vanished in Covington on Sept. 23, 2010, after attending a party with friends.

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“I’ve been wanting to bring my baby home for so long. This is a day I was worried I would go to my grave without ever getting this day," said Donna Johnson, Paige's mother.

Donna said she has two opposite, but strong emotions at once, "Overwhelming happiness with sadness at the same time."

Paige had a daughter, who family members say is growing up missing her mother.

On Sunday, Clermont County Ohio Sheriff’s Office said they were contacted by an individual who said they located what they believed to be was human remains in a wooded area near Williamsburg Township.

When Clermont County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene along with the Clermont County coroner, Covington Police Department investigators were contacted and responded to the scene.

Investigators with all three agencies continued to search the scene for two days and recovered additional items that were also believed to be human remains. All items collected were sent to the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office for analysis and possible identification.

On Tuesday, the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office and Covington Police Department were officially notified by Hamilton County that through dental records the remains have been positively identified as Paige Johnson.

Paige’s family was notified by the Covington Police Department Wednesday morning of her recovery.

A cause of death has not yet been determined, officials said.

Countless efforts have been made over the past 10 years to find out what happened to Paige that night. A website was set up in her name so people could submit any tips they had.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was set to take on Paige's case this year along with an investigator from Washington, D.C., to comb over evidence for new clues.

Police said the last person to see Paige was Jacob Bumpass. He has not been named as a suspect.

Bumpass told investigators he dropped Paige off in Covington that night but police said his cell phone pinged off of a tower near East Fork Lake.

Investigators said Paige's remains were found about 1 1/2 miles from that tower.

Authorities said Wednesday many questions still remain and they will continue to search the scene and look into everything they have investigated to this point.

"We want to be hopeful that this will lead to more information," Covington police chief Robert Nader said. "We still have work to do."

Nader said while it wasn't the outcome they had hoped for, they are glad there is some relief surrounding the uncertainty of the case.

Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders said they are looking into every piece of evidence surrounding the case and said those interviewed previously who didn't cooperate or lied should be "very worried."

At this time, the Covington Police, in conjunction with the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office, are continuing their investigation. Anyone with information about her disappearance is asked to contact Greater Cincinnati Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.

READ THE FULL STORY:Remains of Paige Johnson found nearly 10 years after her disappearance

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