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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:09 am

Justice For Somer - Remembering Somer Thompson
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=173690669016
Somer Thompson
http://www.legacy.com/gb2/default.aspx?bookid=4411066215029&cid=full


Mourners Line Up For Somer Thompson Visitation
Funeral For Slain Girl Scheduled For Tuesday
http://www.wesh.com/news/21424472/detail.html

Community Rallies Around Somer's Mom
http://www.clickorlando.com/news/21424861/detail.html



http://jacksonville.com/community/my_clay_sun/2009-10-26/story/large_crowd_expected_for_somer_thompsons_funeral
Large crowd expected for Somer Thompson's funeral
Clay detectives still working on 200 leads in girl's death

* By Dana Treen
* Story updated at 6:28 AM on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009
ORANGE PARK – Arms large and small wrapped consolingly around the shoulders of Somer Renee Thompson’s family as they sat near her casket at a viewing Monday for the Orange Park girl.

At 5 p.m. hundreds of people waited outside the First Baptist Church of Orange Park to go inside, where the 7-year-old girl’s body had arrived two hours earlier and was surrounded by floral bouquets of mostly purple accented by reds and whites and pinks. A signed poster stood on the floor.

Monday was a week since the community was rocked by her disappearance as she walked home from Grove Park Elementary School. Then a second bombshell fell when her body was found in a Georgia landfill two days later.

Monday, parents brought children and waited as the procession moved along church aisles, then signed guest books before giving the family hugs.

Hal Runnfeldt lives outside Orange Park and brought his 11-year-old son, Kyle, to the viewing after the two talked about the service on the way to school Monday morning.

He said what happened to Somer brings home the need to be protective.

“It’s not fair but it’s the reality,” he said. “So much has happened, from the hope to the reality.”

At one point, Somer’s mother, Diena Thompson, left the hall with her boyfriend for a break in the greetings, Pastor David Tarkington said.
“They’re here,” he said to the procession. “We’re just trying to make sure they are safe.”

Photos of the first-grader flashed on screens overhead in the worship center. Another portrait photo stood on the closed brown wood casket.

Many of the mourners did not know the family but were deeply affected by the week’s events.

“This is the first time in the nine years that I’ve lived here that something like this has happened,” said Leah Davis. “Now that is taken from us. That is a very uncomfortable feeling.”

An autopsy has determined how Somer died and what the cause was but that information is not being released. Authorities have also finished searching a vacant house partway between the school and Somer’s home and near where she was last seen.

For days, parents visited an ever expanding memorial of stuffed animals and candles across from the girl’s home. There, they told their children a “bad man or a bad woman” had done this or that other children were bringing favorite toys to leave in her memory.

The memorial that was maintained by neighbors for nearly a week was dismantled Sunday night. The intent was to then tag the toys with Somer’s name and distribute them in the community.
Today, Tarkington will officiate at an 11 a.m. memorial service that will be open to the public prior to a private graveside service and burial at Jacksonville Memory Gardens in Orange Park.

The community outpouring has been so great it was unknown if the 1,500-seat capacity and overflow area at First Baptist’s worship center would be adequate. Officials with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office are anticipating crowds in the magnitude of those who turned out for the return of downed pilot Scott Speicher.

The route between the church and cemetery will be closely controlled, authorities said.

Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said Monday that having a child abducted and murdered is the “worst case scenario that can come along in a sheriff’s career” and has had a powerful impact on detectives.

“I’ve never seen such focus on a case,” he said. “That’s what it’s going to take to solve this.”

By early afternoon Monday, 1,500 leads had been fielded. Detectives were still working 200.

Beseler said while investigators were fortunate to have found Somer’s body quickly, patience will be needed.
“I don’t want people to think that just because we don’t have a suspect in custody after a week that means this case is not going to be solved,” he said. “We have got a tremendous amount of evidence. We have a tremendous amount of leads.”

Analysis of evidence sent to forensics labs has not been finished and will take time, Beseler said.

Somer’s casket was closed for the viewing and it was recommended her mother not view her daughter. Thompson has a lock of her daughter’s hair.

“It just probably was better to keep the memory of her alive the last time she saw her rather than her present condition,” Beseler said. “It’s just a recommendation. You’ve got to remember she was in a landfill for a couple of days.”

dana.treen@jacksonville.com
(904) 359-4091

Sheriff: We Will Never Stop Looking

By
Rich Jones, News Director
@ October 27, 2009 6:42 AM

As a community prepares to say a final goodbye to Somer Thompson, WOKV is talking to Clay County's Sheriff about the search for Somer's killer.

Rick Beseler says he's focused on tracking down the child killer responsible, and this case is very solveable.

"We will have a positive outcome, and the person or person's responsible will be brought to justice".

His investigators are going through undreds of tips that keep coming into the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

But Sheriff Beseler warns that with hundreds of pieces of evidence, it could take awhile to crack this case.

"It's one that's not gonna be solved overnight like on television in the crime dramas".

Beseler says more than 1,500 tips have flowed into the investigators' tip line, and more than 200 are actively being looked into.

"We will never forget, we will never stop looking, and we will always work on this case until we get a resolution".
http://wokv.com/localnews/2009/10/sheriff-we-will-never-stop-loo.html

Another Florida Tragedy

Monday, 26 October 2009 20:27
By Dr. Duane L. Dobbert, Ph.D

It grieves me to tell you that we have lost another child in Florida. Seven-year-old Somer Thompson was last seen on the afternoon of Oct. 19, running ahead and away from the other children on their mile-long walk from school. Her body was found two days later north of the border in a Georgia landfill. The FDLE CART (Florida Department of Law Enforcement Child Abduction Response Team) for the region was involved, but as the terrible statistic haunts us, only 1 to 5 percent of stranger-abducted children live longer than 24 hours.

Despite the death of the child, I must compliment Clay County, Fla., Sheriff Rick Beseler for "asking for help." The FDLE CART and the FBI were involved and 155 registered sex offenders were interviewed immediately as is the solid CART protocol. Communities that have not implemented a CART, or whose law enforcement commanders are too arrogant to request assistance from other public safety professionals, endanger the children of their communities.

Training school bus drivers to assist by watching for suspicious persons loitering at schools and bus stops is a very successful proactive approach to protecting our children. However, the abduction and death of Somer dictates that communities cannot rely entirely on law enforcement and school districts to protect their children. Community activists, terrified of crime, form neighborhood watch programs. Unfortunately, too many communities are complacent, believing that a child abduction will never happen in their neighborhood.

It is time for society to pull their aggregate heads out of the sand and recognize the reality that child sexual predators do exist and they live in every neighborhood in the United States. Further, a child predator commonly preys upon children outside of their own neighborhoods. Let's not be surprised to find that this child murderer lives in another community, county, or perhaps even the bordering state of Georgia. In closing, I reiterate my pride in the law enforcement agencies that collaborated in this effort, rather than ignorantly not be willing to share the "collar," and invite a group of well-meaning, but untrained nonprofessional volunteers to assist in a criminal investigation.

Communities: Be Activists. Demand to know what is your law enforcement agency's protocol on child abduction and their willingness to ask for additional professional assistance. If a protocol doesn't exist, demand they develop one that meets community approval. If the command officer is unwilling to utilize additional professional assistance from other agencies and jurisdictions, REMOVE THEM FROM OFFICE!

The message is simple: don't watch your children, watch who is watching your children. Further, I am confident that this abduction was not opportunistic, this predator has been watching these children.

http://www.stnonline.com/blogs/safe-at-the-stop/1376-another-florida-tragedy


Image from jacksonville.com

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/florida/AP/story/1301451.html
Fla. town, family say goodbyes to slain girl
By RON WORD
Associated Press Writer

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- With the song "You Are My Sunshine" played quietly, more than 1,500 mourners filed past the casket of 7-year-old Somer Thompson, who vanished last Monday in north Florida on her way home from school.

Purple flowers covered the top of Somer's wooden casket as mourners shook hands with family members seated in the front row. Several portraits of Somer were also on display, while scenes from her life were projected on two large screens.

The funeral for Somer, whose body was found last Wednesday in a south Georgia landfill, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday in the First Baptist Church of Orange Park, the place of the viewing Monday evening.

Somer will be laid to rest in a private burial and graveside service later Tuesday.

About 500 people were in line when the church doors opened Monday evening and two hours later, the line still stretched out the door. Officials estimate more than 1,500 attended.

Many did not know Somer, but were drawn to pay their respects because they were touched by the young girl's tragedy.

Dressed in Somer's favorite color of purple, White vowed to continue dressing in that color until the killer was caught.

"I'm going to miss her. She never met a stranger," she said.

Thousands of purple balloons will be launched Tuesday at the end of Somer's funeral.

Dickie Thomas, 49, brought his wife and 20-year-old daughter. None of them knew Somer or her mother.

"We are all in tears over it," Thomas said.

Ashton Fuentes, 19, went to Grove Park when he was younger and still lives near the Thompson home. "I'm just here to support the family," he said.

And Kay White said she tutored Somer and her brother and sister in language arts at Grove Park Elementary School.

Authorities have investigated some 1,500 leads in the hunt for Somer's killer but have not named a suspect. The child's body was found two days after her disappearance but investigators have not said how she died.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:10 am

Slain north Florida girl to be laid to rest
October 27, 2009 By The Associated Press


Photo credit: AP | Mourners arrive at a memorial for Somer Thompson to pay their respects Friday, Oct. 23, 2009, in Orange Park, Fla.(AP Photo/Phil Coale)

Photos
ORANGE PARK, Fla. (AP) — A slain north Florida girl is being laid to rest after a funeral and private burial.

Funeral services for Somer Thompson are scheduled for Tuesday at the First Baptist Church of Orange Park. After the services, mourners will release thousands of purple balloons into the air.

Somer will be buried at Jacksonville Memory Gardens following a private graveside service for family and friends.

Meanwhile, police have received about 1,500 leads, but have not named a suspect or person of interest.

The 7-year-old girl disappeared last week as she was walking home from school. Her body was discovered two days later in a landfill in southern Georgia. Police say she was slain, but have refused to release a cause of death.

http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/slain-north-florida-girl-to-be-laid-to-rest-1.1548908

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:11 am


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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:11 am


Funeral held for slain 7-year-old Somer Thompson

The hearse carrying the body of Somer Thompson, 7, passes by as balloons are released by mourners attending her funeral service, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009, in Orange Park, Fla. Somer Thompson was murdered last week. (Phil Coale/The Associated Press / October 27, 2009)

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-somer-thompson-funeral-20091027,0,4243832.story

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:13 am



Samuel Thompson, left, and Abby Thompson, right, brother and sister of Somer Thompson, wait with family members to enter the church for the funeral service of their sister, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009, in Orange Park, Fla.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:13 am

Sheriff: Somer's Killer May Have Cuts On Upper Body
Authorities Released Information About Killer's Behavior
POSTED: 9:39 am EDT October 28, 2009
UPDATED: 12:35 pm EDT October 28, 2009

http://www.wesh.com/news/21448561/detail.html

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- The Clay County sheriff said the person who abducted and killed Somer Thompson may have cuts and bruises on his or her upper body.
The body of the 7-year-old girl was found last week in a Georgia landfill.
Authorities released a list of behavioral changes that may have been observed by people who know the person but don't realize it. Among other behaviors the sheriff suggested the offender might exhibit are suddenly leaving the area, hiding or getting rid of their work vehicle or personal car, and taking an unusual interest in the investigation of Somer's death.
Meanwhile, more than 1,000 people attended Somer's funeral on Tuesday in Orange Park.
Somer's casket was draped with a large bouquet of purple flowers, which was the girl's favorite color.
When the service ended, a deputy was needed to help Somer's mother, Diena Thompson, get to her vehicle.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:14 am

Sheriff: Somer's Killer Is 'Unnerved'
Investigators Have Received About 1,700 Tips
POSTED: Tuesday, October 27, 2009
UPDATED: 6:08 pm EDT October 27, 2009

http://www.news4jax.com/news/21441890/detail.html

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler and some of his deputies were among those paying their last respects to Somer Thompson Tuesday.
While they mourn with the rest of the community, they want everyone to know they are on a mission to find out who killed her and make sure that person is brought to justice.
"Clay County is going to wrap their arms around this family as never has been done before in this county," Beseler said.
Investigators said they putting together a profile of a killer and piecing together how someone would behave in this situation. The sheriff said he will release that information Wednesday.
Beseler said he believes the killer or killers is watching the investigation closely, and for that reason, he said he will not talk about the cause of death or any leads investigators are tracking down.


Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said he believes Somer's killer is "unnerved" after investigators found her body so quickly.
"The fact that we found Somer so quickly I'm sure has unnerved the person responsible," Beseler said.
The sheriff's office said it has received about 1,700 tips but still don't know who killed the first-grader who disappeared while walking home from Grove Park Elementary School about 2:45 p.m. Oct. 19.
Clay County Tip Line: 877-227-6911 (cart@claysheriff.com) or Crimestoppers: 866-845-TIPS
Total of $35,850 in rewards available.
Somer's body was found last Wednesday at the south Georgia landfill where Orange Park's garbage is dumped. Investigators will not say how she died, but Beseler called it a "heinous crime."
"It is a sheriff's worst nightmare, the one thing that every sheriff in this country fears the most is a child abduction murder case," Beseler said. "There's someone out there who's killed a child, and he's still out there in our community. He may not be right here in Orange Park, but they're still out in society. And I want that person off the street."

Beseler said 50 detectives have been on the streets asking questions of people in the community who may have any idea of what happened to Somer.
Beseler said those detectives would re-interview some people who have already been talked to, while also following hundreds of tips he said investigators haven't even looked into yet.
Investigators are also waiting for the results of their search of the Orange Park home last week where they said Somer was last seen.
"We are yet to even start receiving information back from the crime labs," Beseler said. "This is going to be a process. It's going to take time."
So far, no one has come forward to say they saw the girl abducted or attacked. Investigators have talked to all 161 registered sex offenders who lived within a 5-mile radius of Somer's home, but that doesn't mean they've been cleared.
"Does that mean that one of them is not a suspect? No, it does not mean that," Beseler said. "It means that there was nothing that we saw immediately on the outset that made one of them an obvious suspect."

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:14 am

Sheriff: Somer's Killer Watching Us
7-Year-Old Girl's Body Found In Georgia Landfill

POSTED: Wednesday, October 28, 2009
UPDATED: 11:42 am EDT October 28, 2009


Somer Renee Thompson.
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said he believes the person or persons responsible for killing 7-year-old Somer Thompson is watching the investigation closely.

VIDEO: Public's Help Sought
IMAGES: Vigil | Search | Somer Thompson
Because of that, Beseler said that he will not talk about the girl's cause of death or any leads investigators are pursuing.

"The fact that we found Somer so quickly, I'm sure has unnerved the person responsible," Beseler told WJXT-TV.

During a news conference Wednesday morning, Beseler said investigators are still searching for clues.

"Yesterday was about Somer Thompson, today is about her killer," Beseler said.

The sheriff said investigators believe there are people with pertinent information to the case who have not yet come forward.

"We are asking the public to identify persons who have exhibited changed in their behavioral patterns," Beseler said.

Beseler said anyone who knows anyone who has exhibited certain behaviors, such as ceasing use of their vehicle, shaving or growing facial hair, an unnatural interest in the investigation or having unexplained injuries, should come forward.

The sheriff's office said it has received about 1,700 tips but does not know who killed the first-grader who disappeared while walking home from her Orange Park elementary school at about 2:45 p.m. Oct. 19.

Somer's body was found last Wednesday at the south Georgia landfill where Orange Park's garbage is dumped. Investigators will not say how she died, but Beseler called it a "heinous crime."

"It is a sheriff's worst nightmare; the one thing that every sheriff in this country fears the most is a child abduction murder case," Beseler said. "There's someone out there who's killed a child, and he's still out there in our community. He may not be right here in Orange Park, but they're still out in society. And I want that person off the street."

Beseler said 50 detectives have been on the streets asking questions of people in the community if they have any idea of what happened to Somer.

Beseler said those detectives would reinterview some people, while also following hundreds of tips he said investigators haven't even looked into yet.

Investigators are also waiting for the results of their search last week of an Orange Park home. Somer was last seen outside the home after running ahead of her siblings while walking home from school.

"We are yet to even start receiving information back from the crime labs," Beseler said. "This is going to be a process. It's going to take time."

So far, no one has come forward to say they saw the girl abducted or attacked. Investigators have talked to all 161 registered sex offenders who lived within a 5-mile radius of Somer's home, but that doesn't mean they've been cleared.

"Does that mean that one of them is not a suspect? No, it does not mean that," Beseler said. "It means that there was nothing that we saw immediately on the outset that made one of them an obvious suspect."

A funeral was held on Tuesday for Somer, and hundreds of balloons were released in her honor afterward.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:15 am

Beseler: Change in Routine, Nervousness Among Suspect's Traits in Somer Thompson Case
Dave Wax Created: 10/28/2009 10:11:31 AM
Updated: 10/28/2009 5:47:49 PM


ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- The Clay County Sheriff's Office wants to talk to specific people who may unknowingly be associated with the person responsible for the death of 7-year-old Somer Thompson.

First-grader Somer disappeared Oct. 19 while walking home from Grove Park Elementary School in Orange Park. After a tremendous community response and search, her body was found two days later by police at a Georgia landfill. She was buried Tuesday.

At a news conference today, Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler asked the public to be alert to anyone they might know who has exhibited certain changes or unexplained behaviors.

"Yesterday was about Somer Thompson; today is about her killer," Beseler said.

He read from a script that was prepared by the FBI and reviewed by the sheriff's office. He was asked not to take questions live.

"We are asking the public's assistance in identifying persons who have exhibited changes in behavioral patterns," he said.

He also confirmed that police, a team of more than 50 from various agencies, have fielded hundreds of tips and he thanked the public for continued support and help. The sheriff's office also released a letter from the Thompson family thanking the community for its support.

A steady stream of mourners, family, friends and strangers continued to visit Somer's gravesite today at Jacksonville Memory Gardens.

The behavioral traits listed were:

•Leaving the area unexpectedly
•Missing work or routine engagements
•Having unexplained injuries
•Having an unnatural interest in the status of the investigation
•Having noted increase in nervousness and irritability
•Sudden change in physical appearance, such as shaving off facial hair
•Changing vehicles
•Changing religious beliefs
•Changing sleep patterns
•Changing use of alcohol, drugs or cigarettes
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-ride fundraiser at 11 a.m. Nov. 8, starting at Love to Ride, 3275-3 Hwy. 17 N., Green Cove Springs. The cost is $10 per person.
•A candlelight vigil for Somer will be at 7 p.m. Thursday in front of the Charlton County Courthouse, 100 Third St., Folkston.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:48 am

Tips continue for investigation into girl's death
Updated: Saturday, 31 Oct 2009, 9:28 PM EDT
Published : Saturday, 31 Oct 2009, 9:24 PM EDT

http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/news/northeast_florida/103109-somer

ORANGE PARK, Fla. (AP) — - A spokeswoman for the Clay County Sheriff's Office says authorities has received 2,400 tips in the case of a 7-year-old Somer Thompson whose body was found in a Georgia landfill

Investigators have not named any suspects or people of interest in the death of 7-year-old Somer Thompson, who disappeared in late October as she was walking home from school in her northeast Florida community.

The girl's body was found in a landfill some 50 miles away. No one has been charged in her death.

Somer was buried Tuesday.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:49 am

Somer's story inspires new school program
Reported by: Karl Torp
Email: ktorp@ActionNewsJax.com
Last Update: 10/29 11:19 pm

http://www.actionnewsjax.com/content/topstories/story/Somers-story-inspires-new-school-program/w-r0aRCc1UC2lsQqy7DzaA.cspx

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Somer's story has inspired one school to take action and make sure their students aren't alone after class.
Stonewall Jackson Elementary School on the Westside is starting a program called "Parent walk."

The idea is that moms and dads would go to assigned stations in the morning and afternoon and provide a familiar face for kids walking to and from school.

Those stations might be a street corner or the end of the driveway.

Speedy Brown is the parent who came up with the idea after the death of 7-year-old Somer Thompson. He says what happened to Somer still plays out in his mind.

"I just picture this girl alone crying out for her parents," said Brown. He hopes to have the program running by next week.

Since this is related to a Duval County School, parents who participate have to get a background check.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:49 am

Prayers continue for Somer Thompson's family
Reported by: Dee Registre
Email: dregistre@ActionNewsJax.com
Last Update: 10/31 7:12 pm

http://www.actionnewsjax.com/content/topstories/story/Prayers-continue-for-Somer-Thompsons-family/P6qh52S4LkqMFm0IPSwf0w.cspx

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- It's been four days since seven-year-old Somer Thompson was laid to rest, but the community hasn't forgotten her or her family.

A group made up of members from several churches came together Saturday to pray over the Grove Park neighborhood. They walked down the same route Somer took to go home from school.

And they said prayers along the way for all of children to be safe as they went trick-or-treating.

"I hope people won't forget. People have the tendency over time to forget the things that have brought them closer together. There are good fruit that comes out of tragedy. People are coming together, and they are being made aware," said Charles Britton.

The group ended their prayer walk at Somer's Memorial. Their they prayed for Somer's mother and her siblings to get through this tragedy.
Copyright 2009 High Plains Broadcasting LLC All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:42 am

Reward In Somer's Slaying Up To $45K
Anonymous Donor Give $10K To Crime Stoppers Fund
POSTED: Monday, November 2, 2009
UPDATED: 12:03 pm EST November 2, 2009

http://www.news4jax.com/news/21496653/detail.html

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Two weeks after 7-year-old Somer Thompson disappeared while walking home from school, an anonymous donor added $10,000 to the reward for catching her killer.
This brings the total Crime Stoppers reward for an arrest in the case to $15,000. Just over an additional $30,000 is available through the Justice Coalition for the arrest and conviction of whoever killed Somer.
"To be eligible for the Crimestoppers reward, you do have to call the Crime Stoppers number," said Wyllie Hodges, executive director. In addition to calling 866-845-TIPS, tips can be e-mailed to rewards@fccrimestoppers.com, left on the Web site, or by text message by sending "TIP326" plus message to "CRIMES."
All calls, e-mails and texts to Crime Stoppers remain anonymous.
Somer's body was found two days after she disappeared in the landfill in Charlton County, Ga., where Orange Park's garbage is dumped.
Detectives with the Clay County Sheriff's Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI continue to investigate Somer's disappearance and slaying.
Clay County Tip Line: 877-227-6911 (cart@claysheriff.com) or Crime Stoppers: 866-845-TIPS
Total of more than $45,000 in rewards is available in the case.
Despite 2,400 tips received, no one has come forward to say they saw the girl abducted or attacked.
Investigators have talked to all 161 registered sex offenders who lived within a 5-mile radius of Somer's home, but that doesn't mean they've been cleared.
"There's someone out there who's killed a child, and he's still out there in our community," Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said last week. "He may not be right here in Orange Park, but they're still out in society. And I want that person off the street."

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:13 pm

Nancy Grace
Added On October 31, 2009
A recent sex offender arrest in Georgia is being investigated for any link to the death of Somer Thompson.
Show Pages - Nancy Grace - CNN.com
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/crime/2009/10/31/ng.thompson.possible.link.cnn

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:14 pm

Somer To Be Topic Of America's Most Wanted
Monday, November 02, 2009 7:13:17 PM

http://www.cfnews13.com/News/Local/2009/11/2/somer_to_be_topic_of_america39s_most_wanted.html

ORANGE PARK -- The hunt for the killer of little Somer Thompson will hit national airwaves.

Today Clay County sheriff Rick Beseler met with a crew from America's Most Wanted as the shows prepares to air the case nationally Saturday Night.

The reward offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Somer Thompson's killer now stands at $45,000 from the Justice Coalition and Crime Stoppers.

A task force of investigators are trying to find the person or people responsible for killing the 7-year-old.

"The task force still includes agents from the FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and U.S. Marshals, who have committed to remaining part of our team until Somer's killer is caught," said Mary Justino of the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies say so far 2,600 tips have come in, but they hope airing the case will help generate solid leads that will lead to a person or persons of interest, and eventually an arrest in the case.

Justino said that no arrest has been made. "We do not have anyone in custody and have not named any persons of interest," Justino said.

Donations for a reward are being accepted by both CrimeStoppers, at (866) 845-TIPS, and by the Justice Coalition, at (904) 783-6312.

If you have any information on the case, call (877) 227-6911, or e-mail CART@claysheriff.com.

Want To Donate?

Donations for funeral expenses for the family of Somer Renee Thompson can be made at any Vstar Credit Union. Account No. 702794000

VyStar Credit Union
P.O.Box 45085
Jacksonville, FL 32232

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:46 am

LAW & DISORDER: Rewards go up in Somer Thompson slaying & killing of worker
Nov. 3, 2009

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/crime/2009-11-03/story/law_disorder_rewards_go_up_in_somer_thompson_slaying_killing_of_wo

First Coast Crime Stoppers announced enhanced rewards Monday in the search for Somer Thompson's killer and a Riverside rapist, while a fresh reward has been offered in the slaying of a construction worker in Jacksonville.

The reward in Somer's case is now at $45,000 with the increase of $10,000 announced Monday by Wyllie Hodges, executive director of Crime Stoppers. The 7-year-old Orange Park girl disappeared two weeks ago while walking home from her elementary school. Police have received 2,400 tips, but no arrests have been made, and no suspects have been named.

An offer of $11,000 is being made for information leading to the arrest of those involved in the Oct. 9 robbery and fatal shooting of Cliff Backmann, 56. The Green Cove Springs man died while cleaning construction debris at a building near Interstate 95 and Butler Boulevard. He was able to call 911 to report the attack before dying.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Assistant Chief Tom Hackney said the Backmann killing was "very brazen." He said police haven't found any surveillance video that could lead them to Backmann's killer.

Backmann's family attended the news conference held by Hodges and Hackney.

"We're all standing here today, still in shock, still not understanding why this happened," said the victim's son, Ryan Backmann, 31. "Everybody out there has a dad. Put yourself in my position. That's how important [catching the killer] is."

Hodges also announced that the reward in the case of a woman raped in Five Points on Oct. 9 has been increased from $1,000 to $5,000. Police released three composite sketches of the rapists, who attacked a woman while she was riding her bike.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS or police at 630-0500.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:47 am

Somer To Be Topic Of America's Most Wanted
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 6:24:10 AM

http://www.cfnews13.com/News/Local/2009/11/2/somer_to_be_topic_of_america39s_most_wanted.html

ORANGE PARK -- The hunt for the killer of little Somer Thompson will hit national airwaves.

Today Clay County sheriff Rick Beseler met with a crew from America's Most Wanted as the shows prepares to air the case nationally Saturday Night.

The reward offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Somer Thompson's killer now stands at $45,000 from the Justice Coalition and Crime Stoppers.

A task force of investigators are trying to find the person or people responsible for killing the 7-year-old.

"The task force still includes agents from the FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and U.S. Marshals, who have committed to remaining part of our team until Somer's killer is caught," said Mary Justino of the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies say so far 2,600 tips have come in, but they hope airing the case will help generate solid leads that will lead to a person or persons of interest, and eventually an arrest in the case.

Justino said that no arrest has been made. "We do not have anyone in custody and have not named any persons of interest," Justino said.

Donations for a reward are being accepted by both CrimeStoppers, at (866) 845-TIPS, and by the Justice Coalition, at (904) 783-6312.

If you have any information on the case, call (877) 227-6911, or e-mail CART@claysheriff.com.

Want To Donate?

Donations for funeral expenses for the family of Somer Renee Thompson can be made at any Vstar Credit Union. Account No. 702794000

VyStar Credit Union
P.O.Box 45085
Jacksonville, FL 32232

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:05 am

Reward In Somer's Slaying Up To $45K
Anonymous Donor Give $10K To Crime Stoppers Fund
POSTED: Monday, November 2, 2009
UPDATED: 4:51 pm EST November 2, 2009

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/21500486/detail.html

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Two weeks after 7-year-old Somer Thompson disappeared while walking home from school, an anonymous donor added $10,000 to the reward for catching her killer.
This brings the total Crime Stoppers reward for an arrest in the case to $15,000. Just over an additional $30,000 is available through the Justice Coalition for the arrest and conviction of whoever killed Somer, WJXT reported.
"To be eligible for the Crimestoppers reward, you do have to call the Crime Stoppers number," said Wyllie Hodges, executive director. In addition to calling 866-845-TIPS, tips can be e-mailed to rewards@fccrimestoppers.com, left on the Web site, or by text message by sending "TIP326" plus message to "CRIMES."
All calls, e-mails and texts to Crime Stoppers remain anonymous.
Two days after she disappeared, Somer's body was found in a landfill in Charlton County, Ga., where Orange Park's garbage is dumped.
Detectives with the Clay County Sheriff's Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI continue to investigate Somer's disappearance and slaying.
Despite 2,400 tips received, no one has come forward to say they saw the girl abducted or attacked.
Investigators have talked to all 161 registered sex offenders who live within a 5-mile radius of Somer's home, but that doesn't mean they've been cleared, investigators said.
"There's someone out there who's killed a child, and he's still out there in our community," Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said last week. "He may not be right here in Orange Park, but they're still out in society. And I want that person off the street."
Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:37 am

DNA might have been recovered from Somer's body and articles of clothing but she was found in a garbage dump after being in a garbage truck. DNA might have been compromised/degraded? Also DNA with one or more perps all mixed up with other trash/debris/garbage and Somer's own DNA. FDLE/FBI crime lab may have their hands full processing all the evidence???? May take more time than normal?

"The Clay County Sheriff's Office hasn't said whether it believes the crime was committed by more than one person."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,...est=latestnews


DNA would definitively be found on the body just because of where it was found. The issue is determining what is and isn't of value. DNA found on the surface of the body can easily be explained away as transference, the body came in contact with mass amounts of debris from a wide variety of sources.

Only DNA evidence found in places that can't be explained away as casual transfer would be viable for testing.

Add to that, it takes time to collect the evidence, transport it to the lab & it takes 5 days once testing is started, just to get the DNA results to match against anything they have in the data base. 5 days presuming the request to expedite the testing was made and granted. Do we even know that was done?

Assuming they expedited the testing, it's still kinda soon to expect they have the results, let alone tested against all the possible databases available.

In 2005, they couldn't get a DNA turnaround in 30 days. There was a 38% increase in requests for testing from 2002 to 2005, and only a 5% increase in testing ability. Nothing much has changed. The goal for time to collect the evidence to send to the lab was 72 hours, they were considering changing it to 120 hours. I can't find anything updated to determine if they did or didn't. but that's 3 days for collection and 5 days for testing, without allowing time for transport & assuming they were waiting for the samples at the door of the lab and started the testing process immediately.

http://www.dna.gov/basics/laboratory/labstatistics/

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:38 am

Deputies help deputies working Thompson case
http://www.claytoday.biz/content/1674_1.php

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:39 am

New Clues Released In Somer Thompson Case
Detectives Release Renderings Of 2 Items
[/color]POSTED: 7:37 am EST November 8, 2009
UPDATED: 8:08 am EST November 8, 2009[/b]

http://www.wesh.com/news/21554258/detail.html

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Investigators continued to scour thousands of tips in the search for the person who killed Somer Thompson over the weekend.
The North Florida girl was found dead in a Georgia landfill in October.
Detectives released artist renderings of two items that she might have had with her when she was killed. It's a tote bag used to carry books and a lunch box with a pink pig design.
Meanwhile, the case was featured on "America's Most Wanted" on Saturday night.
The Clay County Sheriff's Office said it hopes the TV program will help bring in new leads

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:23 am


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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:25 am

Somer's Mom Target Of Hate Mail, Calls
Diena Thompson Tries To Bring Exposure To Daughter's Murder Case
POSTED: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/21590471/detail.html

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Three weeks ago Wednesday the entire community was shaken when the body of 7-year-old Somer Thompson was discovered in a Georgia landfill.
Police continue to try to find out who kidnapped and killed her, having received more than 3,000 tips. Somer's mom, Diena Thompson, is trying to help investigators find her daughter's killer by bringing as much attention as possible to her family's nightmare.
But Diena has recently become the target of hate mail and hate calls, WJXT-TV reported.
The distressed mother told Dr. Phil in a taped interview that someone told her it's her fault Somer was killed. Diena will appear on the Dr. Phil show Thursday.
"I got from a fellow here in Florida that said I should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for child abuse and child neglect for letting her walk," Diena said.
She said she also got a letter suggesting if she hadn't let her daughter walk home from school she'd be alive.
"I've gotten terrible phone calls that I need psychological treatment," Diena said.
Somer was walking home from Grove Park Elementary School when she disappeared.
"I'm just a single mom just trying to do the right thing," Diena said. "I do feel guilty. I don't know what else to say."
She said she is now trying to just survive, being lifted by the overwhelming support of the community and devastated by hateful words from people who've never even met her.
"I feel like a robot," Diena said. "I just get up and do what I have to do, but I can't let them win. I just have to stay strong and maybe be a voice for other children who've ended up like this or who could possibly end up like this."

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:13 pm

E-mail Alerts About Sexual Predators and Offenders
Jessica Clark / Dave Wax
11/13/2009

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- Even though investigators don't know who took Somer Thompson last month or Haleigh Cummings in February, the investigations have created a heightened awareness of who lives near one's neighborhood.

Sgt. Chuck Mulligan said, "Since the Somer Thompson disappearance and unfortunate homicide case, we've had numerous phone calls, inquiries and email issues going throughout the county. It's a concern and it should be. There's someone out there doing heinous crimes."

In most parts of Florida, a person can search for sexual offenders and predators who live within so many miles of an address.

In St. Johns County, you can actually be notified through email of a new sexual criminal in your neighborhood.

The Offender Watch program is on the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office webpage. There, people can register for email alerts by simply typing their name and an address. That information remains confidential.

Mulligan said, "That information is placed into a data bank. When a detective makes an [address] change on a sexual offender or predator, you will receive an email."

The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office also has a program in place called Code Red. If a sexual predator moves, the program places a telephone call to people who live within so many miles of the sexual predator's new address.

But the Offender Watch program informs individuals about sexual predators as well as sexual offenders.

The St. Johns County has made the Offender Watch software available for about two years.

Mulligan said other law enforcement agencies use it or similar versions of the program.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than half of rape and sexual assault incidents happen within a mile of the victim's home.

The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office wants to remind people that knowing the sexual criminals who live near you is an email away.

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/news-article.aspx?storyid=148095&catid=3

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PostSubject: Re: Somer Thompson (7) R.I.P.   Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:15 pm

Mom: 'I Feel Like Somer's Pushing Me'
Molly Hatchet To Perform Benefit Concert
POSTED: Friday, November 13, 2009
UPDATED: 9:38 am EST November 13, 2009

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/21604729/detail.html

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- In a taped interview that aired Thursday on Dr. Phil, Diena Thompson said she's trying to stay strong in the wake of the tragic death of her 7-year-old daughter, Somer, last month.
Diena appeared on the show as part of a discussion about abductions. Somer went missing while she was walking home from school, and her body was found days later in a Georgia landfill.
"I feel like Somer's pushing me," Diena told WJXT-TV on Thursday. "She's keeping me with my eyes focused to what needs to happen."
Diena wears her daughter's picture around her neck every day, and she dresses in purple, Somer's favorite color. With each day that passes, she said investigators restore her faith.
"I think their attitude is even more positive than mine," Diena said. "They've assured me that they are moving forward in positive strides, and that they have every intention of never letting this case get cold. Most of them told me they wont retire until this case is cold."
Sheriff Rick Beseler answered questions Thursday about what evidence has been found three weeks into the investigation.
Beseler said some forensic evidence is back from the lab, but he won't say what it is.
Beseler did not release any information on whether investigators have tracked down the Dumpster where Somer's body was originally placed.
As for the home on Gano Avenue that investigators searched, Beseler would not say if the crime took place there, but he did say it has not been ruled out.
Investigators said they are using a high-tech computer system that analyzes the Internet for anyone boasting about the crime. They have received more than 3,600 tips in the case.
Diena said she believes with so many resources and agencies still in on the case that justice is coming soon.
"He can't be smarter than the rest of us," Diena said. "It can't be smarter than the rest of us. There's nothing a 7-year-old could do to deserve what she's been put through even though I don't know what that is, but I have my own story in my mind. As I've said before, I don't know if it's more gruesome than what's actually happened, but when you're left to your mind, it can show you some horrible things."
Police still aren't releasing information about how Somer was killed, and Diena said she needs answers.
"I really want to know why, why," she said. "I want a big T-shirt with a question mark 'why,' but I might not ever get this answer because this person probably absolutely has no reason, just pure evil."
Diena said she is passing the days trying to focus on her three other children.
"I'm still a mess," she said. "I can't have my eyes off of them."
She said every night her children ask her to sing "You Are My Sunshine."
"It's hard to sing them her song, but if that's what makes them feel better then that's what I've got to do," Diena said.
Anyone with information about Somer's death is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS. The total amount of reward money in the case stands at $45,000.
Meanwhile, the Orange Park community is uniting as they gear up for the Somer Thompson benefit concert lead by legendary southern rock band Molly Hatchet. The benefit concert will begin at 8 p.m. Friday at the Orange Park High School football stadium. Diena Thompson will be the guest of honor for the event.
According to band owner Bobby Ingram, they have agreed to help the family of murder victim Somer Thompson and the Justice Coalition to help raise money to increase the reward being offered.
Orange Park High School Principal Treasure Picket said, "We are pleased to help with this much needed community outreach project."
The band will also debut a specially written tribute song for Somer, as well as play their complete concert lineup of music including "Gator Country," "Whiskey Man," "Devil's Canyon," "Beatin' The Odds" and "Flirtin' With Disaster."
Rockers Red Jumpsuit Apparatus will also play at the benefit concert. The band is originally from Middleburg.
A $10 donation will be taken at the gate and will be divided between the Thompson family and the Justice Coalition. In the event of bad weather, the concert will move inside the school's domed gymnasium.
Orange Park High School is located at 2300 Kingsley Ave.

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