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PostSubject: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:03 am




Missing 7-Year-Old, Last Seen at 2:45 p.m.

Taren Reed Josey Crews
Created: 10/19/2009 8:34:10 PM
Updated: 10/19/2009 9:57:30 PM


CLAY COUNTY, FL -- The Clay County Sheriff's Office says they are searching for a missing seven-year-old girl in the Grove Park neighborhood of Orange Park.

The child's mother notified police around 6:30 p.m. that her daughter, Summer Renee Thompson, had not returned home from school.

Thompson is a second-grader at Grove Park Elementary. Police say she is a white female, 3 feet 5 inches tall and about 65 pounds. She has brown hair and was last seen wearing a cranberry colored jumpsuit with pink striped sleeves.

She was last seen at 2:45 p.m. walking home from school near West Gano Avenue and Debarry Avenue. She was with her sister and friends, but separated from them, running ahead towards her home.

The sheriff's office will be holding a news conference between 9:30 and 10 tonight. We will stream that live on firstcoastnews.com.

Anyone with information on Thompson is asked to call 911, or the CCSO non-emergency line at (904) 264-6512.

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/topstories/news-article.aspx?storyid=146917&catid=3

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:04 am

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009-10-19/story/authorities_search_for_missing_orange_park_girl

Authorities search for missing Orange Park girl




Summer Renee Thompson

Monday, Oct. 19, 2009
By The Times-Union

The Clay County Sheriff's Office is searching for a missing 7-year-old girl in the Grove Park neighborhood of Orange Park.

The child's mother reported that the girl had not returned home from school Monday.

Somer Renee Thompson was last seen wearing a cranberry colored jumpsuit with pink-striped sleeves. She is 3-foot-5, weighs 65 pounds abd has brown hair in a pony tail.

She was walking home from Grove Park Elementary near West Gano Avenue and Debarry Avenue with her sister and friends but separated from them about 2:45 p.m. The child lives about a mile from the school.

Sheriff Rick Beseler said she might have hit another child with her backpack during an argument and run off. He said it's possible she might have run to a friend's house because she was afraid of getting in trouble. But the amount of time she's been missing is making investigators nervous.

"The longer she's out there unaccounted for, it becomes more disconcerting that it might not just be a childish prank," Beseler said.

Almost 100 deputies including SWAT and K-9 officers are helping in the search. Beseler said they won't stop the search until the girl is located — even if it lasts through the night. The weather is projected to drop below 60 degrees tonight.

Beseler said authorities are searching an approximately three-mile radius. There are about 53 sexual predators in that area, and deputies are interviewing all of them, he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or (904) 264-6512

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:04 am




http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009-10-20/story/father_of_missing_clay_county_girl_calls_the_ordeal_unimaginable

Father of missing Clay County girl calls the ordeal "unimaginable"
Previous abduction attempt in Orange Park a focus of search for Somer

By Dana Treen, Jim Schoettler, John Leacock
Story updated at 12:04 PM on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009

The father of Somer Renee Thompson said he's praying for the safe return of his 7-year-old daughter after she disappeared Monday while walking home from her Clay County elementary school.

“She’s just a beautiful, wonderful little girl, full of life,” Samuel Thompson, 41, told the Times-Union this morning from his North Carolina home. “It’s unimaginable.”

As Clay County deputies continue a massive search for Somer, the mother of a girl who was nearly snatched 10 days ago in the same area said she is frightened for the missing girl.

"It's horrible," said April Boothroyd, whose daughter, Kaylee, is 5.

Sheriff Rick Beseler said it is unclear whether there is a connection between the Oct. 10 abduction attempt of Kaylee and Somer's disappearance. The first incident occurred on the weekend while Kaylee was out riding a bike, while Somer disappeared on the way home from Grove Park Elementary School.

Orange Park Police Chief Jim Boivin told the Times-Union his agency notified the Sheriff's Office of abduction attempt, but the investigating officer failed to report it to the school. He said that should have been done.

"It just slipped her mind," Boivin said.

Boivin said his officers have kept an eye out for any suspicious blue Nissan SUVs matching the description of one used in the abduction attempt.

Boivin said his agency received a flier from the Sheriff's Office a week before the attempted abduction that a suspicious black SUV pulled up to a student at Orange Park Junior High School. He said there was no indication the latter incident was an attempted abduction, or that there is any connection to Somer's disappearance. Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Mary Justino said she is trying to gather more information about the junior high school incident.

A statewide Amber Alert for Somer was issued about 9 a.m. by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The alert wasn't immediately issued for Somer because her disappearance wasn't witnessed and there is no vehicle description, which are criteria for such alerts.

Meanwhile, more than two dozen volunteers have signed up to search for Somer this morning. They have been asked to post fliers in different neighborhoods.

“It’s really scary,” said volunteer Jill Harris, a mother of a 13-year-old girl who knows Somer. “Usually when they’re gone this long, the outcome us not usually good. I’m praying that I’m wrong.”

Thompson said his daughter has four sibilings, including a twin brother. He is undergoing a divorce with the girl's mother, Diena, and last saw Somer about two years ago when she visited him.

Thompson said Clay deputies called him about 6:30 p.m. Monday to tell him about Somer's disappearance. He said he is waiting for more information from authorities about his daughter before making plans to come to Florida.

"We've got every church around here praying that she's just at a friend's house. Maybe she's just scared to move," he said.

Boothroyd, Kaylee's mother, told the Times-Union her daughter said last night the two girls had previously walked home from Grove Park Elementary school together.

Boothroyd said the attempted abduction of Kaylee occurred at the corner of Gano Avenue and Grove Park Drive, about a block from where Somer was last seen. Boothroyd said she learned of the abduction attempt from a woman who saw the incident, scared off the potential kidnappers and followed Kaylee home to report what happened.

Boothroyd said a woman in a car, possibly a blue Nissan SUV, drove up to the girl about while she was riding her bike three blocks from her home. There were also two men in the vehicle.

“The lady was trying to lure my daughter in, saying, 'Your mother told me for you to get in the car so I can take you home,'” said Boothroyd, 26. “My daughter said no. This other lady saw everything happen. She said they instantly drove off.”

Boothroyd said the woman who witnessed the abduction attempt told Kaylee to go home and she followed her.

“My daughter was hysterical. The lady was almost crying herself. She said your daughter would have gotten kidnappaped the way the lady was trying to get her in the car," Boothroyd said.

Boothroyd said she called Orange Park police and the officer who wrote the report advised her to have her daughter ride her bike closer to their home.

"They just gave me a card and told me if I have more information, let them know," she said.

Boothroyd said Clay investigators interviewed her and her daughter for at least 30 minutes this morning, but offered little information on what they think happened to Somer.

"That could have been my child," Boothroyd said. "She's [the 5-year-old] not been out of my sight."

Somer was walking home from Grove Park Elementary near West Gano Avenue and Debarry Avenue with her sister and friends but separated from them about 2:45 p.m. The child lives about a mile from the school. Her mother reported her missing to deputies a few hours later. Her father lives in North Carolina.
Somer was last seen wearing a cranberry colored jumpsuit with pink-striped sleeves. She is 3-foot-5, weighs 65 pounds and has brown hair in a pony tail.

Dozens of Clay deputies, joined by several FBI agents, members of other law enforcement agencies, as well as area residents combed the neighborhood in the cold and dark, but found no sign of the girl, authorities said. Almost 100 deputies including SWAT and K-9 officers are helping in the search this morning. Helicopters are also involved.

Beseler said authorities are searching an approximately 3-mile radius. The 53 sexual predators in that area were interviewed and their residences searched, Beseler said.

(SEARCH: First Coast Sexual Offenders and Predators)

Beseler said before Somer went missing on Monday, she might have hit another child with her backpack during an argument and run off. He had said it's possible she might have run to a friend's house because she was afraid of getting in trouble.

"The longer she's out there unaccounted for, it becomes more disconcerting that it might not just be a childish prank," Beseler said early Tuesday morning.

Overnight, authorities asked neighbors and members of the public to bring flashlights and join the search. Many answered the call, donning coats and spending hours searching the area, their flashlights dotting the dark night. Organized searches by members of the public will continue, the sheriff said, but he also encouraged residents to also search outside their homes today.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or (904) 264-6512.

_________________

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Last edited by Melinda on Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:05 am

http://www.examiner.com/x-3035-Everyday-People-Examiner~y2009m10d20-Amber-Alert-issued-for-missing-7yearold-Florida-girl--Updated

Amber Alert issued for missing 7-year-old Florida girl - Updated

October 20, 11:44 AM

An Amber Alert has been issued today for a young girl who went missing on her way home from school yesterday. She was walking home with other children but ran ahead of them. The Amber Alert was not issued earlier because the girl has run off before. But she didn't stay gone this long.

This girl's name is Somer Renee Thompson. She was last seen near West Gano and Debarry Avenues in Orange Park, Florida. She was wearing a black shirt under a cranberry colored sweat suit with pink stripes running down the arms and legs. She may have had a red bow in hair and a white hat and scarf.

She is seven years old, She weighs approximately 65 pounds and is said to be 3 feet 7 inches tall. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

Witnesses said at a press conference today that another little girl, who is 5-years-old, was saved from being abducted about 10 days ago in the same area. The witness who said she saved that little girl from being abducted told the little girl who was upset to ride her bike home and she would follow her to make sure she made it home safely.

The witness described the car to authorities the best she could and said she thought a woman was driving the car. She said it was not a car she was used to seeing in the neighborhood.

Although authorities do not know if this incident is in any way related to Somer's disappearance, they are looking into it to see if they can develop any leads.

If you have information, please contact Clay County Sheriff's Office at 1-877-277-6911 or call 911.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:45 am

Volunteers needed in the search for Somer
Submitted by Jasmine on 20 October, 2009 - 18:01.
TO HELP: Go to the Orange Park Athletic Association, 1086 Fromhart St.

Officials need help handing out flyers and going door-to-door in neighborhoods to ask if anyone has seen Somer.

Right now, civilians are not allowed to help search wooded areas because police personnel and canines are in the area.

They do not want any evidence that may be there to be tampered with or contaminated.

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/news-article.aspx?storyid=14693...

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:45 am

Search for Somer Thompson Expanded to 5-mile Radius
Submitted by Jasmine on 20 October, 2009 - 17:09.
An Amber Alert has been issued for Somer Thompson, who investigators have been searching for since she didn't come home from school Monday.

Sheriff Rick Beseler says this is the longest a child has been missing in Clay County in 22 years. The Clay County Sheriff's Office says it is asking for information about a blue sedan seen in the neighborhood 10 days ago. Authorities say the occupants, two men and a woman, tried to lure a young girl into the car.

Sheriff Beseler would not elaborate any further, except the incident happened within a block of where Somer was last seen Monday afternoon.

The search area was expanded to 3 miles early this morning, and just before 11 this morning, law enforcement expanded the search to a 5-mile radius.

Within that radius, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office, are 87 sex offenders, and each is being checked out.


http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/mostpopular/news-article.aspx?storyid...

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:15 am

:candle:

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:16 am

:candle:

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:19 am

Investigators baffled by missing Florida girl
An Amber Alert has been issued for a missing 7-year-old North Florida girl who vanished after school.
The Associated Press
8:24 a.m. EDT, October 21, 2009




ORANGE PARK, Fla. - Investigators have no clues three days after a 7-year-old girl vanished on her way home from school, a sheriff in North Florida said Wednesday.

The mother of Somer Thompson went on all three national network morning news shows Wednesday with a tearful appeal for the child's return.

"Somer, you're not in trouble -- if you're scared, just come home," Dina Thompson said on NBC's "Today" show. "And if somebody has her, please, please bring her back to us. She belongs with her family."

Sitting beside Thompson, Sheriff Rick Beseler said investigators are baffled. He said officers have expanded the initial search area and interviewed about 75 known sex offenders in a five-square-mile radius. Teams of volunteers are walking arm-to-arm through the woods, and deputies are using helicopters and search dogs.

"We just really need a break in this case. We need a tip, we need a phone call," Beseler said. "Somebody knows where Somer is, and we need that person to call us."

Investigators have said they suspect foul play.

The girl vanished on her mile-long walk home from school Monday in Orange Park, near Jacksonville.

Thompson said Somer was squabbling with another child, and her sister told her to stop. The girl got upset, walked ahead of the group and wasn't seen again.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/crime/orl-bk-florida-girl-missing-102009,0,6576782.story

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:49 am

IMPORTANT UPDATE!! : The phone number of Clay County Sheriff's Office has been updated to 1-877-227-6911.

http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/mcicsearch/FlyerNewPerson.asp?Case_Id=31115&case_nbr=

Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse



AMBER ALERT
ENDANGERED
SOMER RENEE THOMPSON
Date Missing: 10/19/2009
Missing From: Orange Park,FL County: CLAY
Birth Date: 4/5/2002
Age Disappeared: 7 yrs 6 months
Height: 3' 07"
Race: White
Weight: 065
Sex: Female
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown

Narrative: A Florida AMBER Alert has been issued for Somer Thompson. She was last seen in the area of West Gano Avenue and Debarry Avenue in Orange Park. She was last seen wearing a black shirt under a cranberry colored sweat suit with pink stripes running down the arms and legs. She possibly has a red bow in her hair and may have been wearing a white hat and a white scarf.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:49 am

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jku48f5fXyywrpAYRzKaZ-jgoEFAD9BFH1U04

Investigators baffled by missing Fla. girl

By RON WORD (AP) – 17 minutes ago

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Investigators have no clues three days after a 7-year-old girl vanished on her way home from school, a sheriff in north Florida said Wednesday.

The mother of Somer Thompson went on all three national network morning news shows with a tearful appeal for the child's return.

"Somer, you're not in trouble — if you're scared, just come home," Diena Thompson said on NBC's "Today" show Wednesday. "And if somebody has her, please, please bring her back to us. She belongs with her family."

"She's got a twin and he's lost without her," Thompson said in a later news conference.

Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said investigators are baffled.

"Somer disappeared off the face of the earth. We just don't have a clue right now where she is," Beseler said.

He said officers have expanded the initial search area and interviewed about 75 known sex offenders in a five-square-mile radius. Teams of volunteers are walking arm-to-arm through the woods, and deputies are using helicopters and search dogs.

"We just really need a break in this case. We need a tip, we need a phone call," Beseler said. "Somebody knows where Somer is, and we need that person to call us."

Investigators have said they suspect foul play.

"The likelihood she has been taken by someone is high," the sheriff said.

The girl vanished on her mile-long walk home from school Monday in Orange Park, near Jacksonville.

Thompson said Somer was squabbling with another child, and her sister told her to stop. The girl got upset, walked ahead of the group and wasn't seen again.

Orange Park is a suburb of Jacksonville just south of Jacksonville Naval Air Station. The area where the girl disappeared is a heavily populated residential area with homes, apartment complexes and condominums. There are wooded areas and retention ponds.

Orange Park is also about 50 miles north of Satsuma, where Haleigh Cummings disappeared in February. She has not been found.

(This version CORRECTS spelling of mother's first name)

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:50 am

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/6251788/

Parents of missing girl plead for her return

Posted: Today at 8:38 a.m.
Updated: 21 minutes ago

Graham, N.C. — The mother of a missing girl appeared on all three national network morning news shows Wednesday with a tearful appeal for the child's return.

"Somer, you're not in trouble – if you're scared, just come home," Dina Thompson said on NBC's "Today" show. "And if somebody has her, please, please bring her back to us. She belongs with her family."

Somer, 7, vanished on her way home from school Monday in Orange Park, near Jacksonville, Fla.

Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said investigators are baffled by her disappearance.

Her father, an Iraq war veteran living in North Carolina, echoed the plea.

“For anybody who has taken my daughter, I would just beg them and plead to their sense of humanity that they would let my daughter come home,” Sam Thompson said.

He lives in Graham, where he is recuperating from an accident that left him in a wheelchair.

"I can't describe how that feels. It feels like somebody just took the life out of you," he said.

Horses, dogs, divers and helicopters have been used in the search for the missing girl, which began Monday afternoon when she failed to return home from school.

The second-grader is white, 3 foot 5 inches tall and weighs 65 pounds. She had brown hair tied in a pony tail with a red bow and was carrying a purple Hannah Montana backpack and lunch box.

The Amber Alert was issued at 9 a.m. Tuesday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The alert was not immediately issued for Somer because her disappearance wasn't witnessed and there was no description of a vehicle.

Law officers are working 12-hour shifts so they can search for the girl around the clock.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:50 am

7-Year-Old Somer Thompson Missing in Grove Park, Florida
By Pete Kotz
Oct. 21 2009

Three people tried to lure another 5-year-old into a car only days before Somer vanished
​UPDATE: More on the attempted abduction that took place 11 days ago just a block from where Somer went missing. See update after the jump...

Second-grader Somer Thompson was walking home from Grove Park Elementary School Monday with her twin brother and her 10-year-old sister. She reportedly got into a fight with another kid, so she decided to run home ahead of them.

But when the two other kids arrived at their Orange Park, Florida home, Somer wasn't there. And she hasn't been seen since. Police are worried that her disappearance may be the work of pedophiles. On October 10, three people tried to lure a 5-year-old girl into a car in the same area...

Detectives are in the process of interviewing 57 sex offenders who live within a three-mile radius, searching homes and property. Today they expanded the search to another 30 more perverts in a 5-mile radius. They say they're not focusing on sex offenders exclusively, but given the attempted abduction on October 10, it seems an imperative first step.

More than 100 Clay County deputies were using dogs and helicopters to search the wooded and swampy area where Somer was last seen. She is 3-foot-5, weighs 65 pounds, has brown hair and was last wearing a cranberry colored jumpsuit with pink stripes.


Shannon Pollett, left, stopped her car after seeing a girl crying on the street. Three people attempted to lure the daughter of April Boothroyd, right, into their car.
​UPDATE: Ten days before Somer went missing, three people in a blue Nissan attempted to kidnap a 5-year-old girl just a block away from where Somer was last seen.

The girl was riding her bike when three people -- one woman, two men, all Hispanic -- tried to lure her into a blue Nissan Sentra. The girl screamed and rode off and the car sped away.

Shannon Pollett was driving nearby and stopped to see if the girl was okay. Then she followed the child home to let mom April Boothroyd know about the incident.


Police are looking for a blue Nissan Sentra like this one for a previous abduction attempt
​"My daughter said no and started crying and fell off her bike," Boothroyd told News 4 in Jacksonville.

"My first question to the little girl was, 'Do you know these people?'" Pollett said. "She said no. My second question was, 'What did they say to you?' And she said they said to get in the car. It was at that point I realized something wasn't right, and when I turned around to look for the car it was gone."

Police have no idea if the incident's connected to Somer's disappearance, but they're in the process of interviewing more than 90 sex offenders in the area.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:51 am

Sheriff: Body Found Identified As Somer Thompson
Authorities Identify Girl Based On Birthmark
POSTED: 6:28 am EDT October 22, 2009
UPDATED: 7:43 am EDT October 22, 2009

http://www.wesh.com/news/21389441/detail.html

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Authorities said on Thursday morning that they have positively identified the body of a young girl as Somer Thompson.

The announcement was made by the Clay County Sheriff's Office just before 6:30 a.m.
Uncut: News Briefing
The identification was made after investigators found the body of a young girl at a landfill in Georgia Wednesday afternoon.
Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said the body was identified as Somer's based on personal appearance after a medical examiner in Savannah, Ga., saw a birthmark on her left leg.
The 7-year-old disappeared while walking home from school with siblings on Monday in her Orange Park neighborhood. Officials said there was an argument with another child and Somer ran ahead of the group.
The disappearance prompted an intense search by deputies and Orange Park police officers, with help from the FBI. An Amber Alert was issued for the girl on Tuesday morning.
Stay with WESH 2 News and WESH.com for further details.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:00 am

Somer's Mother Speaks out at Candlelight Vigil
Ann Butler Taren Reed Created: 10/21/2009 7:45:00 PM
ORANGE PARK, FL -- Hundreds of people gathered in front of Somer Thompson's home this evening for a candlelight vigil just hours after police found the body of a little girl in a landfill in Georgia.

"I don't know if anyone has lost anybody...you guys have been amazing," said Diena Thompson, the mother of Somer Thompson.

Seven-year-old Somer Thompson was walking home from Grove Park Elementary School Monday afternoon when she was separated from her friends and brother and sister, then disappeared.

Surrounded by supporters in a massive hug, Thompson huddled on the ground sobbing. The community came out to the house on Horton Street holding candles, singing "Amazing Grace," and crying. Officials have not yet identified the remains found in the landfill; confirmation could come later tonight or Thursday.

Thompson thanked the community for its support during the past few days, telling them she didn't know how she would ever be able to repay them. "I never expected this...you guy's have been amazing."

"I love her and I'll miss her," Thompson said.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:01 am


Prayer for Those Who Suffer
For those who suffer,
and those who cry this night,
give them repose, Lord;
a pause in their burdens.
Let there be minutes
where they experience peace,
not of man
but of angels.
Love them, Lord,
when others cannot.
Hold them, Lord,
when we fail with human arms.
Hear their prayers
and give them the ability to hear You back
in whatever language they best understand.

Margaret A. Davidson
©️ 1996 by Margaret A. Davidson

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:36 am

Mom 'will not sleep' until daughter's killer found
updated 8:45 p.m. EDT, Thu October 22, 2009

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/10/22/georgia.landfill.body/index.html

CNN) -- The news was devastating, the aftermath surreal.


Somer Thompson, 7, went missing Monday on her way home from school.

Deina Thompson clutched a tissue in her right hand, frequently wiping her eyes as she told reporters that she couldn't believe it was her daughter whose body was found in a Georgia landfill. Her visage revealed the weight of grief and a yearning for justice.

Standing outside her home in Orange Park, Florida, Thompson looked into the camera and, with her voice cracking, sent out a stern warning to her daughter's killer.

"I want you to know that I will not sleep until this person is found. I hope they get you and I hope they make you pay for a long, long time. You don't take from somebody. You didn't just take her from me. You took her from my family, you took her from all these people. And you don't do this to a little baby and put my baby in the trash like she's nothing. That's not OK, this is not OK." Watch Thompson warn her daughter's killer »

The body of her daughter, 7-year-old Somer Thompson, was found in a south Georgia landfill, Clay County, Florida, Sheriff Rick Beseler said Thursday morning.

Somer became separated from her siblings and schoolmates on her way home from school in Orange Park, Florida, on Monday.

Nancy Grace
The latest on the investigation into the death of Somer Thompson
HLN 8pm ET

She was seen in a fight at school before she disappeared, according to a police report released Thursday. Her 10-year-old sister told police that Somer had gotten into a fight with another girl at school earlier in the day.

The sister said she brought up the fight while she and her brother walked Somer home from school, and that Somer ran off from them, apparently upset. The sister said she lost sight of Somer in a group of other kids leaving the school, according to the police report.

The medical examiner in Savannah, Georgia, used dental records to positively identify the body as Somer's, said Clay County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Mary Justino.

Authorities now are turning their full attention to finding the child's killer.

Beseler held up a map dotted with markers as he said on CNN's "American Morning" that detectives have questioned more than 70 registered sex offenders or predators living within five square miles of Somer's home.

The landfill where her body was found is near Folkston, Georgia, 55 miles north of where the girl became separated from her schoolmates on her way home from school in Orange Park on Monday.

The sheriff told the girl's mother Wednesday night that her daughter had been identified. Thompson, he said, was devastated.

"It was the hardest phone call I've ever had to make in my life, and I hope I never have to make another one like that," Beseler said at a Thursday morning news conference. Watch sheriff announce that girl's body identified »

Authorities will work to pinpoint where the garbage load that contained the girl's body came from, Beseler said. The garbage that was brought into that part of the landfill was collected in the Orange Park area, he had said Wednesday, noting that authorities routinely search garbage when a missing person case has been initiated.

The investigation has now turned into a murder probe.

"There is a child killer on the loose," the sheriff said. "I fear for our community until we bring this person in."

Rewards totaling $30,000 have been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:09 am

Mom To Killer: "We're Coming For You, We'll Get You"
Posted: 5:39 am EDT October 23, 2009
Updated: 10:36 am EDT October 23, 2009

http://www.wftv.com/news/21400501/detail.html

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- The mother of a 7-year-old Florida girl whose body was found in a landfill made a promise on national TV Friday to the unknown killer: "We'll get you."
Diena Thompson, mother of Somer Thompson, appeared red-eyed on all three network television morning shows the day after investigators identified the body they found after sorting through tons of debris at a Georgia landfill.
"We're coming for you. We'll get you, and hopefully justice will be served," she said on ABC's "Good Morning America."
INTERVIEW: Somer's Mom On Good Morning America
VIDEO REPORT: Investigators Search For Clues
NEWS CONFERENCES: Emotional Mom Reacts | ID Confirmed
TRACKING THE KILLER: Techiniques & Tactics Used
RAW INTERVIEWS: Grandparents | Detective
SLIDESHOWS: Mom Attends Vigil | Georgia Landfill
Somer vanished on her one-mile walk home from school Monday in a heavily populated residential area in the Jacksonville suburb of Orange Park. Searchers combed the area before investigators, following garbage trucks that collected trash Tuesday, spotted her lifeless legs in a landfill about 50 miles away.
In a 10:00am Friday press conference, Press information officer Mary Justino said that a total 810 leads were called into the tip line, which remains open 24 hours a day.
Of 810, Justino stated, 231 of them are actively being investigated.
Detectives were on scene of an abandoned home on 1080 Gano Avenue in Orange Park (see map), where they say she was last seen on the sidewalk.
“Since Monday what we have been trying to do is find out who frequents that area, “ Justino said.
"It's crazy to think something like this could happen here," said neighbor Andrew Carlson, 17, as he watched officers in protective white suits go in and out of the empty house and comb through a construction trash bin outside. Construction crews had been working on the house, which was damaged in a fire several months ago, he said.
An autopsy to establish the cause of death is done, but authorities Thursday would not disclose their findings. At a news conference, Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler would not say if Somer had been sexually assaulted or answer other questions about the condition of the body.
Diena Thompson said she does not know any details of the investigation. She said she hopes the killer gets the death penalty.
"I hate him. I hate him," she said on the CBS "Early Show."
"Every morning when I get up, I just get up thinking it's just all a bad dream, and you come out and you see everything that everybody's brought and you know it's real," she said.
Somer’s family met with local funeral home, Jax Memory Gardens Friday. There has been an outpouring of community support both emotionally and financially.
Part of the meeting with the funeral home was to discuss when, were and whether or not Somer’s funeral will be private. Much of the financial donations from the community is said to help with funeral costs.
Missing child posters featuring Somer's face, with chubby cheeks and thick brown bangs, still plaster nearly every utility pole along the mile-long route from her elementary school to her home.
Authorities say Somer squabbled with another child Monday and then walked ahead of the group of kids and was never seen again.
So far, the police have not made an arrest but have questioned more than 155 registered sex offenders in the area. State online records show 88 sex offenders live in Orange Park, a suburb of about 9,000 people just south of Jacksonville Naval Air Station.
At an intersection about halfway into her walk, where Somer would have crossed the street and turned right on the road that led straight home, a purple ribbon -- which supporters and family members have been wearing -- was tied to the pole of a stop sign.
On Thursday evening, a steady flow of people -- many of them parents, clutching the hands of young children -- walked down that same road toward Somer's house to support her grieving family with a candlelight vigil.
Around a tree across the street from the girl's house, supporters had created a memorial, leaving hundreds of stuffed animals, flickering candles, signs and balloons.
Diena Thompson came out with purple ribbons tied in her hair to thank the group who sang "Amazing Grace" and "You Are My Sunshine," then recited the Lord's Prayer.
"I wish I could hug every one of you," Thompson said. "I love every one of you."
Cries of support came from the crowd of about 200: "The community is behind you!" and "We're here for you. You're in our prayers."
The sheriff said the quick discovery of Somer's body, two days after she disappeared, may have saved precious evidence that could lead to her killer.
"Had we not done this tactic, I believe that body would have been buried beneath hundreds of tons of debris, probably would have gone undiscovered forever," Beseler said.
The girl disappeared in a heavily populated residential area about a mile from a stretch of fast-food restaurants and other businesses. Investigators will presumably try to pinpoint the trash bin or garbage can where she was dumped, based on the trash around her and the truck's pickup route.
"I fear for our community until we bring this person in. This is a heinous crime that's been committed," Beseler said. "And we're going to work as hard as we can to make this community safe."

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:58 am

House Searched For Clues In Somer Thompson Slaying
Investigation Focuses On Vacant Home Near Where Girl Disappeared
October 23, 2009

http://www.wesh.com/news/21402960/detail.html

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Investigators in North Florida said they are still searching a vacant house in connection with the slaying of a 7-year-old Orange Park girl.
Somer Thompson disappeared on Monday while walking home from school. Her body was found Wednesday in a Georgia landfill.
At a news conference on Friday, authorities said investigators with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were searching for clues at a vacant home near where Somer was last seen. Clay County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Mary Justino said the FDLE crime lab is looking for evidence a body has been at that house.
Investigators with FDLE also sifted through a trash bin Thursday night at a vacant home where Somer was last seen. In protective suits, investigators used black lights and searched every inch of the home looking for evidence.
"They have worked late into the evening and have meticulously started the process, going through the location and transporting any evidence that is located to the crime lab in Jacksonville," Justino said.
Officials have also said investigators have interviewed more than 160 sex offenders in the area around Somer's home and school, and while all of them have so far been cleared, officials said that could change.
Justino said the Sheriff's Office will not release the child's cause of death in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation.
The Clay County Sheriff's Office has 50 detectives split between Somer's neighborhood and a landfill in Folkston, Ga., where she was found. More than 200 tons of trash is taped off, and it could take weeks to find key pieces of evidence.
Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler is not ruling out that this slaying only involves one person, and they are following each lead.
"As of this morning, we have received a total of 810 leads into our tip line," Justino said.
A total of 231 leads are currently being investigated. There are no suspects yet, and investigators said they're not saying what they may have found.
"We are open to any and all information about people who in any way are connected to that location," Justino said.
Outside of the Thompson home a banner that once read "Amber Alert" now says "Justice for Somer." Dozens of people continue to stop by a memorial dedicated to the girl and stand in silence.
There will a viewing for Somer at the First Baptist Church in Orange Park from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Monday and a memorial service at the same church at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Both of those events are open to the public. (Information From Church Web Site.)
http://www.fbc-orangepark.org/

The graveside service at burial will be at Jacksonville Memorial Gardens and is private.
Both Crime Stoppers and the Justice Coaltion is collecting money to go toward the reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a suspect in this case. They can be reached at 1-866-845-TIPS and 904-509-4034. There is currently a $30,000 reward.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:02 am

Sex Offender Worked on Renovation at Gano House
Ann Butler Created: 10/23/2009 5:02:00 PM
Updated: 10/23/2009 5:21:55 PM



JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A man that worked on the renovation of the house at 1080 Gano Ave., where 7-year-old murder victim Somer Thompson was last seen alive, is a registered sex offender.


Vinson Design and Build is the construction company that was working on the Orange Park home, which has been vacant since a fire several months, according to Clay County public records.


James Vinson owns the company. Vinson's brother, George Vinson, who works for the company, is a registered sexual offender, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement sexual offender website.


The Gano house is the last place witnesses saw Somer Thompson, who vanished Monday on her way home from school. Police found the first-grader's body Wednesday in a Georgia landfill; the manner and cause of death have not been released.


According to the Clay County Sheriff's Office, as of this afternoon, there were no suspects in the case.


The Vinsons' sister Alissa Barrs, who lives at the same address in Mandarin as George Vinson, said her brothers have been questioned by police. She said on Friday afternoon that George Vinson, 33, worked at the Gano home about two months ago, but then found other work.


James Vinson and his business partner were interrogated for hours by detectives on Thursday, she said, and George Vinson was being questioned Friday.


Police searched their Mandarin home Thursday and seized a truck and trailer from their property, she said.


First Coast News made two attempts to reach James Vinson. During one phone call, he said, "I don't want to talk about it" and hung up."


©️2009 First Coast News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:11 am

Saying Goodbye To Somer
Monday, October 26, 2009 7:23:34 AM

http://www.cfnews13.com/News/Local/2009/10/26/saying_goodbye_to_somer.html

ORANGE PARK -- Thousands of mourners are expected at a public viewing for Somer Thompson Monday, while Clay County investigators continue to look for the person who killed her and put her body in the garbage.

Many of the people who plan on going to the viewing never saw the 7-year-old girl while she was alive, and they have never met Somer's mother or siblings. But that doesn't stop them from being touched by this tragedy.

Supporters organized a benefit in Orange Park Sunday for Thompson's family, with a bounce house, silent raffle and bake sale.

Parents were encouraged to keep a close eye on their children since the person who abducted and killed Thompson could still be in the community.

The event was held to raise money so Diena Thompson won't have to go back to work right away.

"We had to make sure we showed our support here," one man said.

"We all have children and we can all relate and we are all hurting for the Thompson family, and we just want them to know that we love them and we are praying for them," said a woman at the benefit.

The viewing will be from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Monday night at First Baptist Church of Orange Park. The memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday morning at the same church. Both are open to the public.

The graveside service will be private and so will the reception that follows. But to show support, community members plan on launching thousands of purple balloons immediately following tomorrow's memorial service as the family makes their way to the cemetery.

Thompson Praises Detectives

Diena Thompson told supporters at a vigil outside her home Saturday night that the detectives are working hard to find "it," referring to the killer.

She also thanked the hundreds of supporters who have held nightly vigils and built a huge makeshift memorial for her daughter Somer.

Somer was last seen alive walking home from school on Monday in their Jacksonville suburb. Investigators have finished sifting through evidence from a vacant house near where she disappeared and the Georgia landfill where her body was found Wednesday.

FDLE Gets Hundreds Of Leads

As investigators continue to comb through the garbage, they said they are also trying to trace the routes of the trash trucks back to the original place where her remains were left.

On Saturday, investigators said they have gotten 1,100 tips and leads in relation to the search for the person who killed Somer. Of those tips, detectives and agents are following up on 200.

Investigators now say their work is now finished at 1080 Gano Ave, the site where Somer was last seen. Additionally, investigators also say the work is now finished at the Chester Island Landfill.

Everything they found at both locations is now in the hands of the FDLE crime lab in Jacksonville.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:12 am

Visitation Slated For Somer Thompson
Funeral For Slain Girl Scheduled For Tuesday
POSTED: 6:40 am EDT October 26, 2009
UPDATED: 7:15 am EDT October 26, 2009

http://www.wesh.com/news/21424472/detail.html

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Mourners will attend visitation on Monday for a 7-year-old girl who was slain in her own neighborhood.
Somer Thompson's family will hold visitation for the child, and her funeral has been set for Tuesday.
Meanwhile, investigators continued to search for clues that could lead them to a killer.
The search for Somer's killer has turned up thousand of leads. So far, no arrests have been made in the case, and that has concerned parents keeping close tabs on their children.
"I think it shows how much it affects the community. Everybody is scared," parent Pam Ledford said.
People who live in Somer's North Florida neighborhood of Orange Park came together to remember the 7-year-old. Hundreds of people showed up for a fundraiser for Somer's Family to contribute to a reward on Sunday.
The reward is up to $33,000 for anyone who might have information that leads to an arrest. Sunday's fundraiser helped raised another $7,000.
The Clay County Sheriff's Office reiterated that they will not discuss the evidence collected, suspects they may have or details related to Somer's autopsy. They said they have no interest in revealing information that a killer may only know.
As the investigation into Somer's murder unfolded, concerned parents also passed out flyers with names and pictures of predators in Somer's neighborhood..
Lisa Hampton is one of those parents getting out information to others in North Florida.
"The response is, 'Thank you.' They are asking us for these flyers," Hampton said.
Somer's family will hold a public viewing for Somer Monday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Orange Park.
On Tuesday morning, family and friends with gather for a memorial service at 11 a.m., followed by a private burial for Somer.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:40 am

Local News

How to Donate To Somer Thompson's Family
By Mike Dorwart @ October 22, 2009

An account to defray funeral and other expenses for the family of Somer Thompson has been setup at VyStar Credit Union.

Existing Vystar customers can easily transfer funds to the account online - #702794000.

Anyone else who wishes to donate can do so at any VyStar branch or by calling:

In Jacksonville: 777-6000

Toll free in U.S. 800-445-6289

Call Center Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:25 am

Visitation Set for Tonight for Somer Thompson
10/26/2009 3:22:42 PM



ORANGE PARK, FL -- The community will spend the next few days saying farewell to first-grader Somer Thompson.

The 7-year-old left Grove Park Elementary one week ago today and vanished on her way home. Her body was found Wednesday in a Georgia landfill. As of Monday morning, 1,400 tips had been called into the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Funeral arrangements have been set.

Visitation:
5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday
First Baptist Church Orange Park
1140 Kingsley Ave.
(904) 264-2351
Open to the public

Memorial:
11 a.m., Tuesday
First Baptist Church Orange Park
1140 Kingsley Ave.
(904) 264-2351
Open to the public

Graveside Service and Burial:
Immediately after memorial, Tuesday
Jacksonville Memory Gardens
111 Blanding Blvd., Orange Park
Procession from Kingsley to Blanding to cemetery
No access to public

Reception:
Immediately following burial
Tuesday
First Baptist Church Orange Park
1140 Kingsley Ave.
No access to public

Somer's body was positively identified by police early Thursday morning after a search that began when she didn't come home from school Monday.

If you have any information that could help investigators, all 911, or call 1-877-227-6911 or 1-866-845-TIPS. You also can email cart@claysheriff.com.

TO HELP AND RELATED EVENTS:

There is an account at Vystar Credit Union for donations. The account number is 0702794000.
A free one-hour seminar for children to promote safety while trick-or-treating will be offered at 6 p.m. Oct 27, 28 and 29 at Champion Martial Arts & Fitness, 11570 San Jose Blvd. #7.
A motorcycle fundraiser at Love to Ride that was scheduled for Nov. 8 has been canceled.
A candlelight vigil will be held for Somer in Charlton County at 7 p.m. Thursday.
REWARD

The Justice Coalition has set up an account for donations to a reward fund for anyone providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the murder of Somer. If you want to donate, go to Ameris Bank at 888 Lane Ave., or at 4835 Town Center Parkway, both in Jacksonville, and give account number 3123504437. Donors can also call the Justice Coalition at 904-783-6312.
CrimeStoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for an arrest also; to donate to that fund, call 866-845-TIPS.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:26 am

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