Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Guest on Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:04 pm

A 10 yr old and 2 seven yr olds walking home where other kids all all leaving at the same time, cud look to many as "safe" without knowingly being negligent, and iresponsible...

I think that because of many of us following many different crime stories educates us in ways the general population isnt...

I am a believer that a sin isnt a sin unless you know better... In this case, I dont think that Deina ever thought for one second that she was putting her children in harms way.....

I believe there are many ppl, who even knowing about this case, feel like it's ones fate, and that it wud be safe to allow 3 kids to stay together and walk home from school.
Sure, its not something that i wud do today, if i was in a position of having young kids, but I have to respect that there are many good loving parents who wud allow this with good intentions...

It is horrible to think that any kid isnt safe but what age do we put on it?

We teach our kids to stay in groups, and walk together, and thats great lessons... Now we can tell them, even if you are mad at your friend/sibling...you cant run off.... you must stay together...

We hear of kids on their bikes being taken (10 yr old girl in Long island ridin her bike near home..

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/06/nyregion/06mbrfs-009.html

We hear of a Michael Anthony 10 yrs old playing with a group of kids in he own yard and violently abducted and plucked form the group at knifepoint..

http://www.pollyklaas.org/missing/kids/page.jsp?itemID=27067284


We hear of these very sad tragedies that take place all over, and I think we need to consider that no matter what a parent may have allowed, it may have ended in the tragic loss of their child, but is blame a fair repsonse? These parents will always prolly blame themselves..shudda wudda cudda....I just cant see how it is fair to blame a parent who hasnt shown us that they are neglectful in any way, and cant imagine what they have on their minds upon waking up every day fopr the rest of their lives...

Judging from the arrogance of this perp, I suspect he wud have taken her, even if she didnt run off ahead of her group and even if there was a 14 yr old 15 yr old with her... His arrogance shown to us of him taking her not far away from the group, then throwing her remains away like garbage, tells me that knowing he was in the area, a child was going to be gone no matter where the child was or who they were with..Maybe even out of their bed, with their family sleeping.. God only knows!

On account that there is way more negative remarks about Deina, than positive, I hope she doesnt read any sites, but if she does, i hopwe she will find some comfort in this post to her...
God Bless her and her family!
Somer, RIP!

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Sam Thompson concerned about report

Post by Justice4all on Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:24 pm

http://www.thetimesnews.com/news/daughter-30965-landfill-ever.html

January 14, 2010 4:52 PM
Keren Rivas / Times-News

Ever since authorities found the lifeless body of his daughter in a Georgia landfill 2 1/2 months ago, Sam Thompson’s main concern has been to catch the killer and make sure the rest of his children are safe.

Day in and day out, the Graham resident has managed to keep his sanity thanks to the support of people in the community and by focusing only on the positive.

Instead of thinking or wondering about what horrible things his 7-year-old daughter, Somer, may have gone through after she was abducted on her way home from school in Jacksonville, Fla., that October afternoon, Thompson said he prefers to fill his mind with warm memories of when his baby was still around.

“The time the Lord gave us with her was precious,” he said. “I am thankful about that.”

But after reading an article in a Florida newspaper Thursday about a social worker’s concerns about Somer and her siblings walking home from school, Thompson could not help but wonder whether something could have been done to protect his little girl.

“It seems to me somebody took the eye off the prize,” 41-year-old Thompson said.

The article in the Florida Times-Union centers around a social worker’s report to the Department of Children and Families a year prior to the girl’s disappearance detailing how Somer and her siblings got lost at least once while walking from school and how they were found in some woods with a stranger.

According to the newspaper, the worker suggested that Somer’s mother needed to pay more attention to the children’s safety. However, a two-week investigation by the department found the allegation had no basis and that the children’s mother, Diena Thompson, had “properly arranged for her children to be taken to and from school,” the newspaper reported.

The article went on to say that the department also found that the risk of the children walking the mile that separated their house from school when necessary was low.

Though Sam Thompson said he is not pointing fingers at anybody, the fact that someone was concerned about his children’s well-being raises some questions. He said he was not aware that there had been an investigation involving the Department of Children and Families regarding this issue.

He said that perhaps if the allegation had been better-handled, “Somer would be here with us right now.” If in fact, he said, the children walking home from school was not a risk, as the investigation suggested, “Why is my daughter not here with us?”

“Somebody failed her in protecting her,” he added.

Thompson is currently trying to get custody of his children. He said that process has been going on for quite some time. He said this is not about him or his ex-wife but about Somer.

“She is the one who didn’t get to go to prom, have a first kiss,” he said. “She is the one who has been let down.”

When Somer and her siblings lived with Thompson here in 2006, she attended Alexander Wilson Elementary School. She had been living with her mother and siblings in Orange Park, a suburb of Jacksonville.

Sam Thompson said he hopes other parents learn to be more careful with their children as a result of what happened to Somer.

“When we feel the safest, we are actually not,” he said, adding that there will always be people who want to hurt children. “You can’t take your eyes off of your kids.”

He said right now he only wants to make sure the person who killed Somer is caught. He also wants to make sure the rest of his children, who live with their mother in Florida, continue getting the help they need to not let this affect them for the rest of their lives.

“It’s a process,” he said. “Over time, things are supposed to get better.”

He said he is thankful for the people who offered prayers and support for him and his ex-wife during this difficult time. He said he continues praying for healing for both his ex-wife and his children.
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Guest on Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:17 pm

Clearly, the pain will never be gone....
The custody battle is only going to hurt more... the losses will continue ..Im so sad that this family cant find away to work together for the sake of the remaining kids in Somer's name...It can be done!

I suspect its a common feeling to blame the custodial parent for such a huge loss...

I wonder if she had to fight for any kind of support, and maybe thats why she had to work in the first place... Or was he giving enough to help cover afterschool child care expenses?... What kind of a non custodial parent was he? Im not sure that we know ...I dont know that we have ever been given any kind of details of their prior agreement, or of his responsibility to his non custodial children, or when the custody battle started.....

There cud be a lesson here, for divorced parents to work well together for the sake of their children. Too often do we know that the the single parent who already struggles, has to contend and deal with the stresses of the other parent not paying and fighting every step of the way....

He was "gracious" in his words by not boldfaced singling out Deina, however his words implicated Deina, by referring too the lack of a "watchful eye" contributing to her death ... he cud have been more sensative in airing his feelings. His kids may see this article and that cant be helpful...Im sure they all blame themselves especially the kids.. I too hope they are in counselling to help them deal with this.. the children are what matter most...

I know he is hurting too, and it cant be easy....

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:37 pm

Nobody wins in this situation. I hope they can work things out amicably without hurting the kids anymore than they already have been.
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Dis on Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:26 pm

I have to agree with Fysty on her point although I didn't voice that opinion since the damage has been done and also for the reasons AJ stated, I don't want to contribute to her pain. Whenever a child is victimized there is a need to understand and the people closest are scrutinized to the point that they have no defense. Why at this point does she need to defend herself?

This reminds me of Shaniya's story. Her father put her in the care of someone who was a known drug abuser and prostitute. Why does he get a pass? He gets a pass because he suffered the ultimate punishment for his actions and after my initial anger towards his irresponsible parenting I realized with the help of you wonderful people that he never thought this would happen. I don't think Diena did either. I think she deserves a pass too. I am curious though, other than this one report, was there ever any other reports concerning the childrens welfare?

As a final note, I would never let my child go anywhere alone. Anywhere. Period. It's the only way to protect them. We live in the country and I make my daughter wait in the house for the bus. Predators know when school is in or out and they will take advantage of it. No child should walk from school or anywhere for that matter. Unfortunately it takes children like Somer to sharpen our senses and make us more aware of the dangers. RIP Little Angels
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Local attorney donates services to Thompson family

Post by Justice4all on Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:47 pm

http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=530063

01/18/2010
by Joe Wilhelm Jr.
Staff Writer

“Godsend” is a word that may not be regularly associated with attorneys, but that is how a mother, whose 7 year-old daughter was kidnapped three months ago, described her attorney.

The story of kidnapping victim Somer Thompson shocked the local community and the nation when her body was found in a landfill in Georgia after she disappeared from her Orange Park neighborhood. The last thing on Diena Thompson’s mind was hiring a lawyer to protect her and her family’s rights, but Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler recommended Jacksonville attorney Mike Freed, who is active in the effort to stop human trafficking and protecting the rights of children victimized by this act. Thompson had one less thing to worry about when Freed pledged his services free of charge.

“He has taken a lot of weight off of my shoulders,” said Diena Thompson. “After it happened I thought, ‘How do I protect myself and my children.’ (Freed) has helped us out so much. He’s been a Godsend.”

Thompson wasn’t familiar with being part of a police investigation, answering questions from the media or handling money that was donated in honor of Somer. Besides being a liaison between Thompson and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Freed has established the Thompson Family Trust through Jacksonville Bank to provide the public a way to donate to the family, developed a group of advisors that review fundraising proposals to weed out possible scams and now advises Thompson on opportunities to speak to the media and the public on her experiences.

“He’s there when I do interviews,” said Thompson. “He doesn’t tell me what to say, just tells me to speak from my heart.”

Freed is able to help Thompson prepare for interviews with tips from his own experiences. He has appeared on television programs “The Dr. Phil Show”, “The Today Show” and “Nancy Grace” to talk about his experiences with the Thompson family and his work raising awareness of human trafficking.

“(Diena) contacted me after she had heard about the work my wife and I do raising the awareness of human trafficking,” said Freed. “She asked us if we could help out and it was an easy decision.”

Freed makes himself available to Thompson around the clock, something his client is truly thankful for.

“We talked at least once a day for a couple of months, but it has slowed to about once a week now,” said Thompson. “But I can call him any time, even if it’s just something that upsets me. He’s got my best interest at heart, and He’s not in it for the money. That’s refreshing at this day and age.”

Freed isn’t the only one to donate services to the Thompsons. Interchanges.com created the Web site www.rememberingsomer.com as a memorial to Somer and also to provide the public a way to donate online.
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The Somer Thompson Story

Post by Justice4all on Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:56 pm

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Photos of Somer

Post by Justice4all on Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:59 pm



Last edited by Justice4all on Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:32 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by khintx on Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:30 pm

So many lost children.... when will it end? kh
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Video: Somer’s mom: ‘This pain is unbearable’

Post by Justice4all on Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:50 pm

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Grant awarded so police can pay for overtime in Somer Thompson case

Post by Justice4all on Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:03 am

http://jacksonville.com/community/clay/2010-01-23/story/grant_awarded_so_police_can_pay_for_overtime_in_somer_thompson_case

By Beth Reese Cravey
Story updated at 12:29 AM on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010

The Clay County Sheriff's Office has received a $20,000 federal grant to help pay overtime expenses related to its exhaustive investigation in the October death of Somer Thompson.

Other grant applications are pending to fund the case, which is still clocking overtime as detectives pursue leads and other areas of investigation.

The grant was awarded through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, funded by the U. S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance.

The sheriff's office initially applied for the grant in November. The agency has since asked that the grant be increased to $44,754 to cover subsequent overtime expenses, according to county documents.

The grant program "is the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions [and] provides ... critical funding necessary to support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution and court, prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation and technology improvement, and crime victim and witness initiatives," according to the bureau Web site.

The Clay County Commission, which sets funding for the sheriff's office, accepted the grant Tuesday.

"We appreciate the sheriff's office ... for trying to obtain every funding source available out there," said Commission Chairman Travis Cummings.

Because of county-wide cuts imposed by the revenue-depleted County Commission, Sheriff Rick Beseler has no vacant jobs or overtime pay in his budget for the current fiscal year, 2009-10. That budget year began Oct. 1.

On Oct. 19, only weeks into the fiscal year, 7-year-old Somer Thompson disappeared while on her way home from school. Her body was found three days later in a Georgia landfill; no arrests have been made in the case.

Sharon Kraus, the sheriff's chief financial officer, said in an e-mail that even the higher grant request of $44,754, if awarded, "does not cover all overtime associated with that case." But the total figure is still being calculated because overtime is still being worked as detectives check out leads and pursue other areas of the investigation, said sheriff's spokeswoman Mary Justino.

Also, other grant applications are pending to help fund the probe, Justino said.
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Piper on Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:57 am

Thank goodness for an attorney such as Mike Freed, he's a real human with feelings and a purpose. And it's not fame and glory. I'm glad he's there for Diena anytime she needs him. What beautiful pictures of Somer and her twin brother. I wonder how he's coping.
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:33 pm

I can't even begin to imagine how tough this has been on Somer's twin brother. Most twins have a very strong bond.
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Guest on Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:08 pm

Piper, Im glad too!

Its sad that a crime victim needs to have an attorney for protection. She and her family have already suffered the greatest loss one can imagine. To think that so many ppl dont realize that good ppl, make bad choices, some of the time, makes me sad about human mankind.

I cud see that she wud need help with foundations and donations, but the thought that she needs to be protected is painful. I am glad that she recognizes this and had found someone to represent her, who seems so genuine and giving.

I believe the child services report that was made way bak, and found nothing to support the complaint, was the only complaint/concern that they had with this family. Had there been more, I suspect we wud have heard more by now.

I still pray that the father will dig deep and stop this custody battle where he only stands to hurt his kids no matter what the outcome is. I realize he is in pain, however he cud do a lot more for his kids by stepping up to the plate and assisting in the chikd rearing, as opposed to robbing his kids from their mother, especialy after such a horrendous loss..

As life changing as this event was, i wonder why the father cant be more available to work closer with Deina. Can he move close by? Can he help with time and leave the kids where they have called home for so long?

His article seems to give the idea that he believes he cud have/wud have, and will do a better job... Thats the part that makes me angry as if he feels he has so much to offer, why cant he sacrifice his life and join in and leave his kids with Deina? We have seen this woman enough to assess her parenting and love for her kids as normal and on parr with a vast majority of single moms..

I am going to put my helmut on, but I am a believer that kids are better off with their mom (if there is no known probs, and if this scenario is possible) to rear children. I sure dont think every mom is a good mom and kids do not belong with bad moms, but if she is a good loving mom I believe kids should stay there as the main nucleous, where they have free and liberal access to the father (as long as he is good) where I feel Somer's father prolly is....
The thought that he is trying to take them out of their home to live with him, makes me wonder how much quality thought he has put into his decision. It may be a distraction in his healing process to look for a solution. I dont see any room for blame in this scenario, as the same ending may have happened to him, if Somer had been in his care.. maybe she wud have been bike riding or playing in the backyard..I believe this perp was gonna take a child that afternoon, no matter what he had to do....

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:24 pm

Search For Somer Thompson's Killer Continues

POSTED: 11:59 am EST February 2, 2010
UPDATED: 12:19 pm EST February 2, 2010

ORANGE PARK, Fla. --
The search for a Florida girl who was murdered on her way home from school continues.

More than three months after Somer Thompson's kidnapping, Clay County detectives still do not have a suspect.

Detectives fear whoever killed Somer will attack another child.

Images: The Death Of Somer Thompson

Her mother vows to search until the killer is found.

"I will not sleep until this person is found. I hope they get you and they make you pay for a long, long time," mother Diena Thompson said.

So far, officials have received more than 4,000 tips.

Somer's body was found in a Georgia landfill.


http://www.wesh.com/news/22410956/detail.html
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:25 pm

Inside the hunt for Somer Thompson’s killer

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Dis on Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:40 pm

That is what scares me about these cases. There is still a murderer out there and no child is safe. I hope parents become more vigilant then the perverts will get sloppy and will be caught more often. It's sad that we have to be so protective but it is what it is.

That is also what bothers me about the Haliegh case. We don't know what happened to her, she may have suffered the same fate as Somer and there is a killer out there preying on other kids. Hell, it could be the same person for all I know.
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Snaz on Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:13 pm

What is so sad is that they will most likely eventually catch the person who killed little Somer and put him away.... but there will always be another one come along to take his place.

It seems as though the senseless killing of our innocent children will never end. Sad

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:19 pm

I agree Dis.. they were faily close together and the part that I will rant on about forever is that according to LE, the chek they did in garbage was insufficent to say the least... and as per them..the actual landfill and the trucksthat had picked up dumsters were not cheked either.
I hate to say this, but I sure hope LE wud not avoid the job becasue of how awful a job it has to be..and then appeasing the public with a "scapegoat" ...and someone they are waiting for to talk...

Furthermore..whoever the perp was whetther it was a croslin cumming or perfect stranger ... still cud have tossed her there.... Im not sure why they keeop waiting for someone to talk... The LE in KCs case never waited for that.. Hell wud have frozen over first!!!!

Also, as sad as the thought is..... even though LE did not call Morgans disappearance a "homicide investigation" prior to her remains beings found..and they still said they were looking for a "live Morgan", LE announcd the other day that they actually still treated it as a homicide investigation...

I always like to hold out hope, but for LE ignoring the reality of Haleigh being murdered, and not being thorough is unforgiveable..

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:01 pm

Somer Thompson's Mom, Diena, Speaks to First Coast News

02/02/10 5 p.m. Report




Somer Thompson's Mom, Diena, Speaks to First Coast News

02/02/10 6 p.m. Report

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by pi-girl on Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:29 pm

It is so heartbreaking to watch the emotion as Diena speaks. The pain lingers - as the world forgets and moves on, Somer's mom cannot. She mentions Psalm 94, so I am posting what it says:
Psalm 94
1 O LORD, the God who avenges,
O God who avenges, shine forth.
2 Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
pay back to the proud what they deserve.
3 How long will the wicked, O LORD,
how long will the wicked be jubilant?
4 They pour out arrogant words;
all the evildoers are full of boasting.
5 They crush your people, O LORD;
they oppress your inheritance.
6 They slay the widow and the alien;
they murder the fatherless.
7 They say, "The LORD does not see;
the God of Jacob pays no heed."
8 Take heed, you senseless ones among the people;
you fools, when will you become wise?
9 Does he who implanted the ear not hear?
Does he who formed the eye not see?
10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
Does he who teaches man lack knowledge?
11 The LORD knows the thoughts of man;
he knows that they are futile.
12 Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD,
the man you teach from your law;
13 you grant him relief from days of trouble,
till a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the LORD will not reject his people;
he will never forsake his inheritance.
15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
and all the upright in heart will follow it.
16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the LORD had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18 When I said, "My foot is slipping,"
your love, O LORD, supported me.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.
20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—
one that brings on misery by its decrees?
21 They band together against the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the LORD has become my fortress,
and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23 He will repay them for their sins
and destroy them for their wickedness;
the LORD our God will destroy them.

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:38 pm



Matthew Watson, 21, was arrested for sexually attacking a 16-year-old girl about 10 miles from where Somer Thompson disappeared.

Watch the video below and click on the following link for more info: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/news-article.aspx?storyid=151755

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by FystyAngel on Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:21 pm

Detectives Follow More Leads in Somer Thompson's Death

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/news-article.aspx?storyid=151755

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Detectives with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrested a 21-year-old man Feb. 5 for kidnapping and sexually battering a 16-year-old girl on her way to school last Thursday morning. This is about 10 miles from where Somer Thompson disappeared.

Now, JSO has spoken with the Clay County Sheriff's Office and passed along information to those investigating Somer Thompson's death, said Assistant Chief Tom Hackney with JSO.

Police say they believe Matthew Watson was waiting in the woods in the 10,000 block of 103rd Street near Connie Jean Road to commit the crime. This is on the Westside.

"We made them aware of this individual, his motives and a little bit of his criminal history. They are aware of it and they are looking into it," said Hackney.

Watson made his first court appearance Saturday morning and will be held without bond. He has been arrested in the past and was linked to the Westside crime through DNA.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office released a statement on Monday which said:

"We can confirm that we were notified by JSO because their case involved a juvenile. As with many cases that occur near our border, they shared information about their case with us. We remain committed to not discussing any of the specific details of the Somer Thompson case and ask that no one make any assumptions about Somer's abduction and death based on JSO's comments."

Somer was abducted and murdered back in October 2009. Her body was found two days later in a Georgia landfill. Police have sifted through thousands of leads looking for her killer. Somer's mom, Diena, spoke to First Coast News recently and believes the killer is local and spoke to Somer at least once to gain her trust.

The reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in the Somer Thompson case has grown to $64,000.

Call First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS if you have any information. You will remain anonymous. You can also send tips to the Clay County Sheriff's Office at 1-877-227-6911 or via email at cart@claysheriff.com.

You can donate to the Somer Thompson reward fund at Ameris Bank. It has two locations. One is at 888 Lane Avenue and the other is at 4835 Town Center Parkway. The account number is 3123504437.

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:15 am

Wow this is great !!

To think this 16 yr old girl was lucky enough to get away... I wonder if his intentions were to kill her?? Thank God she got away!!!! Hopefully she will get counselling and learn to move past this horrible experience..

The thought that this monster is off the streets is a relief and to think this cud be Somers perp... I hope they have DNA in Somers case to nail this guy...

Its hard to know if hs DNA was already in Codis from prior convictions that are referred too... If it was in CODIS, then one wud hope any DNA in Somers case wud have been already run thru the database...

If there isnt any DNA in Somers case, hopefully there will be other ways to nail him, or elinimate him with certainty ...

I am also wondering how far he lived from Haleighs last year? His M.O seemed to be to hide in the woods...

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Piper on Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:21 am

I know they have been very tight lipped on what information they have so far. If they have DNA, it apparently hasn't matched anyone in the database yet. I'm hoping since Somer's body was found so quickly that the DNA was there, waiting to identify her killer one day.
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by FystyAngel on Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:06 pm

Possible break in Somer Thompson case
http://wdbo.com/localnews/2010/02/possible-break-in-somer-thomps.html

(AP) Authorities have served a search warrant in the case of a northeast Florida girl whose body was found in a landfill.

Clay County officials haven't said why a home just west of where Somer Thompson was last seen is being searched.

A news conference is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The 7-year-old girl vanished in late October as she was walking home from school. Her body was found in a landfill some 50 miles away.

No one has been charged in her death. Authorities have said they've been sifting through thousands of tips in the case.



Search underway in Somer Thompson case
http://www.abcactionnews.com/content/news/local/story/Search-underway-in-Somer-Thompson-case/uc27KCnLlkiJXVdqVDuu8Q.cspx

ORANGE PARK, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities served a search warrant Thursday in the case of a northeast Florida girl whose body was found in a landfill after she vanished on her way home from school.

Clay County officials didn't immediately announce why a home just west of where Somer Thompson was last seen was being searched, but deputies and an FBI forensics team were seen searching its front yard with rakes and shovels.

Sheriff Rick Beseler planned an evening news conference. He has said for months that he wouldn't address the case unless there was a significant development.

Messages left by The Associated Press with a spokeswoman for Beseler were not immediately returned.

The 7-year-old girl vanished Oct. 19 as she was walking home from school sparking a search that lasted for several days. Investigators sorted through more than 225 tons of garbage at a landfill some 50 miles away, across the state line in Georgia, before their worst fears were realized: Sticking out of the rubbish were a child's lifeless legs.

Authorities have checked into thousands of tips in the case in the nearly four months since, but no one has been charged in the killing. The girl's mother, Diena Thompson, said she didn't want to get her hopes up that a break had been made in the case.

"I'm not speculating on anything. I don't want to get my hopes up and I don't want to get my hopes down," she told The Florida Times-Union. "I'm going to put my faith in God."

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by FystyAngel on Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:11 pm

Breaking News....HLN just had a press conference and it was stated that they do have a POI in jail. A 24 yr old male. He's been arrested on numerous counts of child pornography. Also, he is being held on a Million dollar bail. Not sure of the spelling but the stated his name is Jarred Harrell(I believe)


Last edited by FystyAngel on Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Piper on Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:15 pm

OMG........
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by FystyAngel on Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:16 pm

Deputies, FBI search home near Somer Thompson's disappearance; sheriff to speak
'I'm going to put my faith in God,' Somer's mother said; one search warrant is served a block from where the Orange Park girl was last seen

http://jacksonville.com/news/2010-02-11/story/deputies_fbi_search_home_near_somer_thompsons_disappearance_sheriff_to_speak

ORANGE PARK - A man arrested today in Mississippi on child pornography charges was named tonight by Sheriff Rick Beseler as a person of interest in the disappearance and slaying of Somer Thompson.

Beseler said Jarred Harrell, 24, is being held on $1 million bond in a Mississippi jail after being charged with 29 counts of child pornography. Beseler said Harrell at one time lived in a home at 1152 Gano Ave., which was searched today as part of a series of search warrants served in the case. The home is along a path that Somer, 7, disappared on Oct. 19 while on her way home from school.

Clay County investigators and FBI agents continued their search tonight of the unoccupied house in the block just west of where Sheriff Rick Beseler has Somer was last seen. Warrants were also served on the homes in Callahan, a home in Mississippi and on a car in Mississippi, Beseler said.

Beseler refused to take any questions from reporters. His appearance is significant because the sheriff has been saying for months he won't address inquires about the Somer Thompson case publically unless there is a significant development.

Investigators have said that they have been waiting for tests on hundreds of evidence samples taken from the landfill where Somer was found. About half of those tests have come back; a number of the results were received recently, investigators have said.

The home on Gano Avenue was roped off with police tape as deputies and an FBI forensics team began searching in the front yard using rakes and shovels. Armed with a search warrant, they entered the home shortly befoer 3:30 p.m. A table is set up outside with brown paper bags to collect evidence.

The single-story brick house was apparently empty when police arrived. Next door neighbor Thelma Cody, 77, said a husband, wife and their two sons and a cousin who'd been living in the home moved out last year. She said she wasn't sure when the family moved or where to. Another neighbor, Tanyia Williams, said she saw people move into the home last year, clean up the property and then leave at some point later in the year.

Records obtained by the Times-Union show the listed property owner, General L. Dailey, moved out of the home late last year, possibly in mid- to late November. Dailey, 66, owned the house since 1996, according to Clay County property appraiser records. One record reviewed by the Times-Union listed Dailey's occupation at one time as an independent Baptist preacher. Neighbors said they knew little about who lived in the home.

Beseler did not say why the house is being searched and whether the search is connected to Somer's case.

Diena Thompson, Somer's mother, told the Times-Union this afternoon she supports whatever work authorities can do to bring Somer's killer to justice.

"I'm not speculating on anything. I don't want to get my hopes up and I don't want to get my hopes down,"said Thompson, 35, said of the search. "I'm going to put my faith in God and hope the Clay County Sheriff's Office does what they're good at."

Somer, 7, disappeared ,Oct. 19 while walking home from Grove Park Elementary with her brother and sister. Hundreds of people scoured the neighborhood after she vanished. Her body was found in a Folkston landfill two days later.

In the days after Somer disappeared, investigators, including the same FBI forensics team on-hand today, nitially focused on a home under renovation at 1080 Gano Ave. Investigators searched a Dumpster on that property and also gathered evidence from inside the home, which had been damaged in a fire and has not been reoccupied.

Today's police activity occurred as a number of students were walking home from Somer’s school on the route she usually took. The seasrch drew several curious neighbors from their homes.

“Does this have anything to do with the little girl?” asked Joey Smith, 24, who lives about a block away.

Lisa Gainers, who lives near the home, aid she hopes police will be able to learn more about Somer's disappearance and death from their search.

"If they find something pertaining to Somer, that's good," said Gainers, 49.

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by FystyAngel on Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:21 pm


Clay County Sheriff's Officers park outside of a Clay County home where they are serving a search warrant in the Somer Thompson murder case


Clay County Sheriff's Officers park outside of a Clay County home where they are serving a search warrant in the Somer Thompson murder case

House they are searching is about one block away from where Somer went missing.

Facts in the case
Oct. 27 | Hundreds attend Somer Thompson's funeral at First Baptist Church in Orange Park.
Oct. 22 | Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler confirms that the body is that of Somer Thompson.
Oct. 21 | The body of a small child was found in a Ga. landfill where authorities were looking for Somer Thompson.
Oct. 20 | An Amber Alert was issued about her disappearance.
Oct. 19 | Somer was last seen wearing a cranberry colored jumpsuit with pink-striped sleeves. She is 3-foot-5, weighs 65 lbs and has brown hair.

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Arrest in Somer Thompson case

Post by khintx on Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:42 pm

Person of interest arrested:

http://www.news4jax.com/news/22535336/detail.html
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by FystyAngel on Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:57 pm

Person Of Interest Arrested In Somer Thompson Case
Clay County Deputies, FBI, FDLE Search Vacant Home On Gano Avenue

http://www.news4jax.com/news/22535336/detail.html#

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said a 24-year-old man has been arrested on child pornography charges and been named a person of interest in the Somer Thompson case.

Beseler said Jarred Harrell has been charged with 29 counts of possession of child pornography that occurred in Clay County, and he was arrested Thursday by federal agents in Meridian, Miss., and is being held on $1 million bond.



Jarred Harrell, 24, was arrested Thursday in Meridian, Miss., on child pornography charges and has been named a person of interest in the Somer Thompson murder case.

On Thursday afternoon, a search warrant was issued on a vacant house in the 1100 block of Gano Avenue near where Somer was last seen before she disappeared and was found killed in October. The 7-year-old's body was discovered three days later at a Georgia landfill. Beseler said Harrell previously lived at the home.

Beseler said other residences in Callahan and Lauderdale County, Miss., and a vehicle have also been searched in connection with the case.


Clay County deputies, the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have been searching the home on Gano Avenue since Thursday afternoon. Investigators were seen wearing moon suits, entering the house and collecting evidence. Investigators have asked JEA to turn the power on in the home to give them light as they continue their search into the night.

Investigators searched a separate, vacant home about a block away in the days after Somer's body was found. They collected evidence from the home and have been waiting for lab results to return.

The family of Somer Thompson released a statement saying, "At this time, Diena Thompson (Somer's mother) and her family are monitoring the latest developments in the investigation into the abduction and murder of Somer Thompson. However, Diena is not prepared to speak publicly on the matter and asks that you please respect her and her family’s privacy as they continue to process events as they unfold. In the near future, Diena will address the media on the latest developments in the case."

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Piper on Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:55 pm

What a sick frak....... Mad
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:30 pm

I'm glad they finally made an arrest in this case. This sick freak needs to be off the streets whether he's the one who killed Somer or not. If he is the one who murdered Somer, there is no punishment that is too harsh for him. I'm sure the other prisoners would take him out quick if he was kept in general population, but more than likely he will be kept in isolation where they can't get at him.
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Piper on Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:09 pm

Exactly, J4A...a fraking freak! Disgusting............
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by FystyAngel on Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:30 pm

Person of Interest in Somer Thompson Case
Person of Interest Jarred Harrell, 24, Arrested on 29 Child Porn Charges, Lived Near Thompson
By LEE FERRAN
Feb. 11, 2010 —

http://www.thesky973.com/pages/6344095.php

Police have arrested a former neighbor of Somer Thompson, the 7-year old girl whose body was found in landfill last fall, and named him a person of interest in the girl's disappearance and murder, investigators said today.

Jarred Harrell, 24, was arrested "without incident" on 29 unrelated counts of possession of child pornography in Meridian, Miss., Florida's Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said in a press conference today.

"We are also naming Harrell a person of interest in connection with the abduction and murder of Somer Thompson," Beseler said. Beseler would not comment further on Harrell's connection to Thompson, "as that would require I comment on evidence in an ongoing investigation," he said.

According to arresting documents, a cluster of child pornography images and video was found on several CDs and a computer Harrell used when he lived with roommates at a home in Orange Park, Fla, in August. The computer, which had a filed called "Toddler Insertion," held "a large amount of child erotica and also child pornography," documents said.

The roommates, who discovered the files, turned the computer over to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Aug. 10, two months before Thompson disappeared.

Bond was set at $1 million.

Somer's body was found in a Georgia landfill two days after she went missing on October 19, 2009. The day she disappeared, the little girl was walking to her Jacksonville, Fla., home from school with her older sister Abby and twin brother Samuel. Somer was last seen in front of a vacant house on a block she walked every day.

Beseler said several residences, including a vacant house near the Thompsons' home, and a vehicle were searched earlier today.

In the more than three months since her death, police have followed thousands of leads but have not named any suspects in the case.

In early November, Somer's mother Deana Thompson told "Good Morning America" her daughter's killer would be "lucky" if the cops caught him or her before she did.

"I can't imagine them not catching him," Thompson said then. "That's my scariest ... I feel like there's a piece of broken glass in front of me. And I've got all the pieces to the broken glass except for this one, huge piece and that's to catch the monster who did this."

Thompson described Somer as a beautiful 7-year-old who always wanted to help, wanted to make people feel better.

"She just always wanted everybody to be happy with her. ... So sweet. Hugged everybody," she said. Somer routinely hugged the crossing guards she met on her route home from school.

Thompson worried then that the killer may still be in the community.

"I've thought, 'Please don't let it be one of these people that's come around and hugged me and said how sorry they were.' I've thought, 'I wonder -- when we were doing the candlelight vigils if -- if he was out there," she said.

And if it turns out to be someone she knew?

"God have mercy on their soul. And they better be lucky that the Clay County Sheriff's Office is gonna get to 'em before I can."



Diena Thompson's Advice for Parents

It is a struggle to balance that anger with a mother's need to stay strong for her remaining children. Thompson said the ordeal has been especially hard on Somer's twin, Samuel.

They used to play in the pool together and race each other to see who could stay underwater the longest.

"We used to nickname her 'Grace' because she couldn't really walk and chew bubblegum at the same time," Thompson said of Somer.

She loved to dance, but she had no rhythm, Thompson said.

"She was just so wonderful. And you take it for granted. You never think you're gonna be sitting here," Thompson said. "And you have a lot of regret because you may have been too busy. And you weren't really busy. You were just too busy in your head. And I'll have to live with that, and that's hard."

She said she would tell other parents to be sure and tell their children they love them every day.

"It don't take but a couple seconds. And when you think you're too busy, really think about what you're saying you're too busy for. Because you don't want to live with this. That's what I regret. It's hard to live with regret and guilt," she said.

Diena understands acutely that the world's attention will move on. The flowers in her home are beginning to fade. The vigils that used to occur nightly have grown more infrequent.

But she is determined to continue the fight for justice.

"I know I'm not gonna let this monster win. I will be victorious in the end, and he will pay," she said. "We're gonna get him, and he will pay. And I hope he's scared."

Visit www.rememberingsomer.com for more information on the reward fund and family relief fund.

Police have asked that if you have any information about this case, contact the Clay County Sheriffs Department in Jacksonville, Fla. at (877) 227 - 6911 or the FBI.

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Piper on Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:34 am

Harrell won't appear before the court until Tuesday, because of snow today and President's day Monday....

A former Clay County man named by Sheriff Rick Beseler as a person of interest in the Oct. 19 Somer Thompson slaying will appear in a Mississippi court next week to be arraigned on child-pornography charges, authorities said.

Jarred Mitchell Harrell, 24, will have to decide whether to waive or fight extradition back to Clay County to face accusations that he had more than two dozen pornographic images of young girls on his computer found by roommates in Orange Park.

Harrell was arrested on Thursday while living in Meridian, Miss., and is being held on $1 million bail at the Lauderdale County Detention Facility. Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie told the Times-Union this morning that Harrell would have appeared in court this morning, but heavy snow has caused county offices and much of the rest of the city to close.

Courts are expected to reopen Tuesday after the President's Day holiday, Sollie said.

Sollie said Harrell is being kept in an isolation cell because he's being held on federal warrants. Sollie also said Harrell is being monitored frequently, but he's not under a suicide watch.

If Harrell waives extradition, he will be returned quickly to Clay County to face the 29 counts of child pornography. If he fights, a process will begin to make sure he is properly identified and is the person wanted on the pornography warrants. Once that is confirmed, a governor's warrant will then be issued allowing authorities to bring him to Clay.

Sollie said Harrell has yet to retain an attorney. He also said Harrell, whose been living in Meridian for less than a few months, has no criminal record in the city. Florida records show he had one arrest in 2007 when Jacksonville police charged him with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana. He entered a deferred prosecution program and doesn't have a conviction on his record.

FBI agents arrested Harrell at a Meridian home without incident and turned him over to the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office. The county of about 80,000 people is in eastern Mississippi.

The arrest warrant on the child-pornography charges said Harrell worked for a Mississippi recycling company at the time of his arrest. He is listed as 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds.

A Middleburg woman whose daughter was a one-time roommate of Harrell and who said she has known him and his family for years described him as a recluse who enjoyed playing computer games.

Lisa Buchanan said Harrell spent at least some time alone in his mother’s home at 1152 Gano Ave. at the time of Somer’s disappearance.

The home, which is a block from where 7-year-old Somer was last seen and along her route home from Grove Park Elementary School, was searched Thursday by Clay deputies and FBI agents. Authorities also served related search warrants at homes in Callahan and Mississippi, as well as a car in Mississippi, Beseler said.

Buchanan, 45, said Harrell had previously been living with her daughter in an apartment on Wells Road. But she said Harrell was kicked out in August for stealing an iPod.

She said her daughter then found child pornography, with girls as young as 6, on a computer and computer discs Harrell left behind. Harrell’s arrest docket provides graphic details of those images and movies.

Buchanan and her 46-year-old husband, Rod, said they went with their daughter to turn over the materials to police in August. Those materials were in turn given to the state attorney general’s Cyber Crimes Unit.

It remains unclear why those materials were not processed until after Somer's death.

The Buchanans said they spotted Harrell’s vehicle outside his mother’s home a few days after Somer’s body was found and alerted police to their concerns about him. The couple said Harrell’s mother and stepfather moved out of the home about two weeks before Somer’s disappearance.

The couple also said police became extremely interested after learning Harrell had been spending time at his parents’ otherwise vacant home


The above was bolded by me, see the rest of the story below dated today, 2/12/10:



http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2010-02-12/story/man_of_interest_in_somer_thompson_slaying_to_appear_in_mississippi_court
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Piper on Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:43 am

I have to wonder if the police took heed of their concerns and interviewed Harrell at that time? And they had turned the child pornography over to police in August. He was right under everyone's nose, a block away.
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:47 am

TRANSCRIPT: Diena Thompson on Catching Daughter's Killer

Diena Thompson, Mother of Murdered Somer Thompson, Said She Wants Killer 'to Die'

By CHRIS CUOMO and CLEO ANDREADIS
Feb. 12, 2010

On Thursday, police named a person of interest in connection with death of 7-year-old Somer Thompson, Diena Thompson's daughter. Jarred Harrell, a former neighbor of Thompsons, was arrested on 29 counts of possession of child pornography, Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said Thursday.

Beseler would not comment further on Harrell's connection with the girl.

Thompson vanished on Oct. 19 while walking to her Jacksonville, Fla., home from school with her two siblings. Investigators searched for two days and sorted through more than 225 tons of garbage at a landfill some 50 miles away across the state line in Georgia, where they found her body.

Days before Harrell was arrested, Deana Thompson sat down with "20/20" anchor and chief law and justice correspondent Chris Cuomo for an emotional interview.

Part of that interview aired Feb. 12 on "Good Morning America" and "Nightline." The transcripts are below:

CHRIS CUOMO: The idea of catching the bad guy, the monster who is still out there. What happens when that happens?

DIENA THOMPSON: I feel like it'll give me some more closure because I still blame myself, you know? What if I did this? Or what if this could have been done and instead of looking in the mirror and blaming myself, I'm going to have a picture of someone else to blame. So I just, I want to see this person's face. I, I can't wait to meet him face to face.

CHRIS CUOMO: What would you say?

DIENA THOMPSON: Why? Give me your best excuse, your best reason as to why you had to do this.

CHRIS CUOMO: ...Do you care what happens to whoever did this?

DIENA THOMPSON: I want them to die. I want them to get the death penalty…I've got to be the voice for Somer.

CHRIS CUOMO : When…when the investigation ends, and it ends, hopefully, in the arrest of the right person, do you then want to know everything you don't know right now?

DIENA THOMPSON: Yes.

CHRIS CUOMO: Yes. Why.

DIENA THOMPSON : 'Cause I-I was there when she was born and I should know, how she left.

CHRIS CUOMO: What good do you think it'll do for your head, to hear what could be, not something that's pleasant to hear.

DIENA THOMPSON: Because I've built up so many scenarios in my head, that I honestly don't feel like anything they could tell me, could be any worse than what I've already…made up in my head.

CHRIS CUOMO : What is the hardest part in all of this emotionally for you to deal with.

DIENA THOMPSON: Knowing that I'm never gonna…while I'm on this earth, ever gonna be able to hold her, touch her, have-smell her, you know, your children, they just have this smell about them. Each one unique to itself, and, just knowing that I'm never gonna get to see, you know, her look up at me and…smile.

DIENA THOMPSON: She—you know, she had problems like actually with her speech like, you know, "yittle" instead of "little."

CHRIS CUOMO: You had a nickname for Somer. Grace.

DIENA THOMPSON: Yeah.

CHRIS CUOMO: Why?

DIENA THOMPSON: because she was so clutzy. I mean, she could not walk and chew bubble gum at the same time, but she loved to dance. She wanted to be a ballerina.

CHRIS CUOMO :That night…what are you telling yourself.

DIENA THOMPSON: I'm never gonna see her again.

CHRIS CUOMO: You were that confident that that's—

DIENA THOMPSON: I—I can't explain it, but, I just knew, that she was gone.

DIENA THOMPSON: All I remember is losing it. I mean, literally losing it. Screaming and, later on neighbors telling me they could hear me, the shrills across the street. And they, then…knew, 'cause I think they didn't say on the news until the next day, that they confirmed it to the public, but, of course, being the—being the mother, they called and told me.

CHRIS CUOMO: You want to know all of it. You want to know what happened to Somer.

DIENA THOMPSON: I do.

CHRIS CUOMO : No matter what the detail, no matter what that involves.

DIENA THOMPSON: I think that the picture I have drawn in my mind of what I think happened can't be any worse than what actually happened cause your mind will play tricks on you...


http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/transcript-diena-thompson-catching-daughters-killer/story?id=9814175&page=2
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:48 am

Somer Thompson's Father Reacts To 'Person Of Interest' Arrest

2/12/2010 12:16:50 PM

Alamance County, NC -- Somer Thompson's father is reacting to news that a person of interest has been arrested in death of his little girl.

Somer, 7, disappeared in Florida in October while walking home from school. Her body was found several days later in a Georgia landfill.

Police in Mississippi arrested Jarred Harrell, 24, Thursday on child porn charges. He used to live near where Somer walked home and where she disappeared.

"It's like reliving it all over again. We've waited so long to find out who this man was and to finally see his face on TV was a feeling of I'm not ready for this yet," said her father Sam Thompson, who lives in Alamance County.

He spoke with reporters at Ye Old Country Kitchen in Snow Camp Friday. The owner of the restaurant allowed journalists to gather there to talk with Thompson.

Sam Thompson said he is ready for answers and closure about how his daughter Somer died.

"It's been painful. There's a process of healing, which is tremendous, but without knowing who did it or how she was taken, these are all thoughts in your mind once you let your mind start to wander, you always see the worst," he said.

Thompson said he's not convinced yet that authorities have his daughter's killer.

"If they have this person and they connect his name along with Somer, there's definitely something there. But I find out as you find out. They still have to be careful. They don't want this person to get away on a loophole," he said.

So what does he want to happen to whoever did take Somer?

"I think he should be put away in a solitary confinement cell with no sunlight for the rest of his life. He should have to suffer something. Just being executed, that's the easy way out," he said.

One of the hardest things for Thompson might still be to come.
"As a father to have his daughter taken and to have to look this man in his eyes one day. That's something that I really have to pray hard about that I'll be able to look this man in the face and forgive him for what he's done," he said.
Thompson's immediate focus is on remembering his daughter.

"We miss her so much," he said crying. "Now all I have are memories."

Thompson is becoming an advocate for child safety. He points to jessicaslawnownc.org for examples on how serious the threats are. He said a "Somer's Law" is in the works to prevent children from walking home alone.

"How many more laws are we going to have to name after our dead children before we wake up and do something about it and stop this from happening," Thompson said.


http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=137328
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:51 am

Ex-stepfather says Harrell possessed child porn as teen

Former Orange Park resident linked to Somer Thompson’s slaying

By Jim Schoettler
Story updated at 10:31 PM on Friday, Feb. 12, 2010

Jarred Harrell’s lust for child pornography began as a teenager in Mississippi, said a stepfather who did nothing after finding a disc of graphic material Harrell locked in a tackle box.

After being told Friday of Harrell’s arrest on child pornography charges and being linked to Somer Thompson’s slaying, Richard Wharton said he felt ashamed he didn’t act on his find eight years earlier.

“I’m not proud of what I did,” said Wharton, 65, who was married to Harrell’s mother for 15 years before divorcing in 2005.

Harrell, 24, remains isolated in a Meridian, Miss., jail on $1 million bail after he was arrested Thursday and charged with 29 counts of child pornography. Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said the charges are connected to pictures found on Harrell’s laptop and computer discs by former Orange Park roommates.

Beseler also named Harrell as a man of interest in the Oct. 19 disappearance and slaying of Somer, 7. Beseler refused to say what evidence investigators believe ties Harrell to the case. Harrell had been spending time at his mother’s otherwise vacant Gano Avenue home in Orange Park about the time Somer was last seen nearby walking home from school. The FBI and Clay investigators searched the home Thursday.

Harrell is expected to appear before a Mississippi judge Tuesday to either waive or fight extradition.

Wharton said he married Harrell’s mother, Annis, when Harrell was 5 years old and the two were living in Lucedale, a small town in southeastern Mississippi. Harrell struggled with the pressures of grade school and had to be home-schooled for several years, Wharton said in a telephone interview from his home in Alabaster, Ala.

Harrell got caught stealing when he was 13, but was otherwise a quiet, church-going teen who enjoyed being with friends, Wharton said.

Three years later, Wharton learned his 16-year-old stepson had another interest.

Wharton said he was curious about what Harrell kept in a locked tackle box in his bedroom closet, so one day he took off the hinges and pulled out one of several discs. He loaded the disc onto a computer and found pornographic images of young girls, some no older than 5 or 6. They were the same ages of some of the girls found on the Clay County discs, the arrest warrant said.

Wharton said he asked Harrell’s mother whether she thought the teen had a problem with pornography and she said no. Wharton said he didn’t tell her about his find and put the discs back in the box, assuming it was a passing phase.

“I thought it was an age thing,” Wharton said.

Wharton said he never found his stepson with pornographic material again. He said Harrell got into more minor trouble by shoplifting in his late teens, but otherwise stayed out of trouble.

“He’s never been a violent kid,” Wharton said.

Wharton, who last spoke to Harrell just after divorcing his mother in 2005, said he was disturbed by the new child pornography charges because of his stepson’s past. But he said he doesn’t believe Harrell had anything to do with Somer’s death.

“I have a hard time with the murder thing,” Wharton said.

Messages left by the Times-Union with Harrell’s mother on her cell phone and Facebook page and his current stepfather’s cell phone were not returned. Sheriff Billy Sollie, who supervises the Meridian jail where Harrell is being held, declined a request by the Times-Union to interview Harrell.

Harrell’s aunt, Kriss Mizelle, told the Meridian (Miss.) Star Friday that Harrell had been living with her for about 2 1/2 weeks before his arrest. Mizelle said he was looking for work and not trying to hide from police.

Authorities seized Harrell’s computer and his aunt’s computer during the arrest in the town of about 40,000 people in eastern Mississippi. She described him as a “normal, lazy guy” incapable of what he’s charged with or linked to.

“This just blows my mind,” said Mizelle.

Rod and Lisa Buchanan, a Middleburg couple who are friends with Harrell and his family, described him as a reclusive who enjoyed playing computer games. They also said he had trouble keeping some jobs.

Harrell was fired as cook at the Fleming Island eatery Beauty and the Beef last summer because he had a quick temper, the restaurant’s manager, Corey Secrest, said Friday.

Secrest said Harrell cooked for about 2 1/2 months and had a reputation for being a hard worker. But he got fired for “flipping out” on-duty, Secrest said. He added that he never witnessed the episodes, but he said the owner complained when Harrell would snap.

“He couldn’t straighten his act up,” said Secrest, 24. The owner could not be reached to comment.

The Buchanans said Harrell also worked briefly at the Orange Park Mall’s food court, but they weren’t sure where or why he stopped.

Harrell, who studied computers while attending a Mississippi junior college, was turned down for an information technology job by Jacksonville City Hall in 2006 after someone more qualified was hired, city spokeswoman Misty Skipper said.

Harrell’s resume submitted to the city lists jobs as a salesman, pizza delivery man and cashier in Mississippi from 2001 to 2005.

As for his criminal background, Florida records show one arrest in 2007 for possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana in Jacksonville. He has no arrests in Mississippi.

The Meridian (Miss.) Star contributed to this story.


http://jacksonville.com/community/clay/2010-02-12/story/ex_stepfather_says_harrell_possessed_child_porn_as_teen
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:14 pm

'Person of interest' in Somer Thompson's death drew early scrutiny

February 13, 2010

ORANGE PARK — The man authorities call "a person of interest" in the death of Somer Thompson was brought to the attention of the Clay County Sheriff's Office shortly after the 7-year-old's body was found in a Georgia landfill, 50 miles from where she disappeared on Oct. 19.

Because of child pornography on a computer left at his stepdaughter's home, Rod Buchanan went to the Sheriff's Office as soon as he noticed Jarred Mitchell Harrell's car in his parents' driveway and realized how close their house was to Somer's.

Harrell, an unemployed 24-year-old restaurant worker, has not been charged in Somer's death, but he was arrested Thursday in Mississippi on 29 counts of possession of child pornography.

Harrell once lived with Buchanan's stepdaughter and her fiance at an apartment a few miles away from Somer's neighborhood, Buchanan said.

According to both Buchanan and the Clay County Sheriff's Office, the couple discovered in August that Harrell was stealing from them and told him to leave. He left his computer, so they turned it on, curious.

"Our kids saw stuff that nobody should ever have to see," Buchanan said.

Buchanan's wife, a nurse, contacted a deputy, and they turned the computer over to authorities.

Fending off criticism about why his agency did not arrest Harrell immediately after the pornography was discovered, Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler put out a news release Friday afternoon saying such investigations require a painstaking process to link the images to a suspect.

Authorities still aren't saying what evidence ties Harrell to Somer Thompson.


http://www.tampabay.com/incoming/person-of-interest-in-somer-thompsons-death-drew-early-scrutiny/1072997
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by TigerMom on Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:53 pm

Just reading the arrest warrant makes me want to throw up!
It is proven time and time again that these monsters start their obsession in the teens. Yet there is no legislation to
try and prevent or address the juveniles.
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:10 am

Tigermom, the arrest warrant is very disturbing. It is sad that often nothing is done when juveniles show these danger signs. Harrell's Aunt is still in denial as shown in the following video.

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by pi-girl on Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:40 pm

Sounds like he has his family fooled. "Wonderful" boy at home, (except while he's on his computer) but outside in the real world he can't keep a job and has a temper. His aunt describes him as a "normal, lazy guy". What's normal about being a 24 year old lazy man...?

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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:46 pm

Person of interest in Somer slaying fighting extradition; no longer set to appear in court

Jarred Harrell is charged in a Clay County warrant with child pornography

The Clay County man named as a person of interest in the Somer Thompson slaying is fighting extradition from Mississippi, where police arrested him last week on child-pornography charges.

Jarred Mitchell Harrell, 24, is demanding that authorities show there is probable cause for him to be charged with child pornography, Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Sheriff Ward Calhoun told the Times-Union. Authorities will also be required to match Harrell’s identity to that of the man named in the warrant.

To extradite Harrell, Florida investigators will have to submit documents proving probable cause and other matters to Gov. Charlie Crist. Crist can then send a governor’s warrant to Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour demanding that Harrell be brought back to Clay County.

Calhoun said he expected Harrell to be back in Florida as early as next week.

"I've never seen where there never was one granted," Calhoun said.

Harrell will continue sitting in a jail isolation cell, where he's been held since Thursday on $1 million bail in connection with the child-pornography charges.

Mississippi does not require that court hearings be held in extradition matters as long as the paperwork is approved. Though Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said last week Harrell will make a court appearance, Calhoun said that won't happen in Mississippi.

"We're honoring the warrants that have come to us from Clay County and we're holding him on those warrants until arrangements are made for him to be extradited to the state of Florida," Calhoun said.

Federal agents arrested Harrell in Meridian, Miss., which is the Lauderdale County seat. He had been staying with an aunt for several weeks.

Harrell is being held in the Lauderdale County Detention Facility in the city of 40,000 in east-central Mississippi. He is charged with 29 counts of child pornography after his two Orange Park roommates told police they discovered graphic images on his computer and computer discs in August and turned them over to police.

The images were processed after 7-year-old Somer’s death.

Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler last week named Harrell a man of interest in Somer’s Oct. 19 disappearance and death, though Beseler has refused to discuss evidence in the case. Harrell had been staying in his mother’s Gano Avenue home when Somer disappeared nearby.


http://jacksonville.com/community/clay/2010-02-15/story/person_of_interest_in_somer_slaying_fighting_extradition_no_longer_s
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:50 pm

It's time for the perv to man up and face the consequences of his crimes. It's like Deina said. "We’re coming for you. We’re going to get you."
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:13 pm

Somer Thompson's Mom Wants Daughter's Killer "To Die"; Diena Thompson Says She Blames Herself

February 15, 2010 9:40 AM
Posted by Kealan Oliver

ORANGE PARK, Fla. (CBS/AP) The mother of murdered 7-year-old Somer Thompson says she wants her daughter's killer "to die," but first she wants to meet the killer, face to face.

"I want to see this person's face," Diena Thompson told ABC's Good Morning America. "I want them to get the death penalty. I have to be the voice for Somer."

The child's remains were found last October in a south Georgia landfill, days after she disappeared while walking home from school in the Jacksonville, Fla. suburb of Orange Park. Authorities last Thursday arrested Jarred Mitchell Harrell, a former neighbor of the Thompsons, on dozens of counts of child pornography, calling him a person of interest in the case.

Diena Thompson told ABC, she needs to know the truth about what happened to her daughter, saying,"I've built up so many scenarios in my head, that I honestly don't feel like anything they could tell me could be any worse than what I've already made up in my head."

Thompson's attorney, Michael Freed, said his client is optimistic the arrest will help bring closure to the case, but doesn't want to overreact prematurely.

Harrell has not been charged with murder.

7-year-old Somer Thompson used to stop at Harrell's house walking home from school to pet a white dog.

"I still blame myself, you know?, said Thompson. What if I did this? Or what if this could have been done and instead of looking in the mirror and blaming myself, I'm going to have a picture of someone else to blame," she said.

Harrell left his computer behind when he moved out of the Orange Park neighborhood. His roommates turned the computer over to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office after claiming to find child pornography on it.

Harrell was arrested in Meridien, Miss. on 29 counts of child pornography, and was being held on $1 million bond.


http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2010/02/12/crimesider/entry6201425.shtml
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:11 pm

Man of interest in Somer Thompson slaying had unstable childhood

A bizarre series of events found Jarred Harrell and his sister bounced between their mother and father for parts of their young lives.

By Jim Schoettler
Story updated at 2:56 PM on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010

LUCEDALE, Miss. — Loretta Harrell answered a knock at her ranch-style home in the deep Mississippi woods six weeks ago to find two strangers standing outside.

The men told Harrell they were FBI agents and asked to speak to her husband about his son, Jarred. Startled, Jarred’s stepmother shut and locked the door and called for her husband, a local prison guard.

It had been six years since Howard Harrell had seen Jarred at the end of a bitter, bizarre custody battle that found the two hugging on the steps of the Lauderdale County courthouse. They crossed paths twice more, but never spoke, Howard Harrell told the Times-Union Tuesday.

The FBI agents told Harrell that Jarred wasn’t cooperating with a criminal investigation in Florida, where he’d spent time with his birth mother and her newest husband. They said Jarred fit a profile, but didn’t say of what, and asked his father for a DNA sample.

Harrell let one of the men swab the inside of his cheeks and watched them walk out a short time later. They left behind plenty of questions.

Harrell got some answers last week in a frantic phone call from his daughter in Jacksonville. Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler had just announced that Jarred, 24, was arrested in Meridian, Miss., on child-pornography charges. Beseler also identified the unemployed laborer as a man of interest in the Oct. 19 disappearance and slaying of 7-year-old Somer Thompson.

Harrell and his wife said they remain stunned by the news, which they’ve seen repeated on local TV.

“I sure don’t see him doing none of that,” said Harrell, 51.

“I’m really still standing with my mouth open,” said his wife, 52.

Jarred remains in an isolation cell in a Meridian jail while fighting extradition back to Florida. Authorities said they expect him to be returned as early as next week.

Meanwhile, 125 miles to the south in the two-stoplight town of Lucedale, a family torn apart years earlier in a bitter dispute wonders what’s next.

The past

Mississippi court records describe a bizarre series of events that found Jarred and his sister bounced between their mother and Harrell for parts of their young lives.

Howard and Annis Harrell were married in Lucedale in October 1979. Their daughter was born seven months later, while Jarred was born in July 1985, the records show.

The couple divorced a year later and Annis got custody of the children. Harrell got them back three years later following the events outlined in a judge’s 1990 order in the case.

Shortly before the Harrells separated, she was working as a secretary for Joe Newman, a married, eccentric local inventor. The two became lovers with the knowledge of Newman’s wife, while Annis still had custody of the children, the judge’s order states.

In February 1989, Newman publicized what the order states is a 17-page “news release” in which he announced he was married not only to his wife, but to Annis Harrell and her 8-year-old daughter. The order does not indicate why the release was issued or how, but the order says Newman described himself as a prophet of God and that his wife believed him, among other things.

Alerted to the public statements, state child welfare officials sought to take the children from their mother, who officially married Newman in September 1989. During a court hearing in the custody matter, Newman said his marriage to the daughter was spiritual, not sexual, and that he would debate with God whether to consummate the marriage, the order states.

The judge said he didn’t doubt the depth of the convictions of either Newman or Annis, but he ordered the children removed from their home. The girl went immediately with her father. Jarred, then 3, stayed with Annis’ mother until also moving in with Harrell.

Annis divorced Newman and tried to get her children back, though a judge called her attempts manipulative and refused. But in 1993 about five years after Harrell got the children, he gave them back.

“You know how kids are; they want to be with their momma,” Harrell said.

Annis did not respond to several interview attempts by the Times-Union.

Harrell said he almost immediately lost touch with the children. He said he didn’t see them for eight years until their mother was summoned to court in Lucedale in 2003 as he sought to stop paying child support. Annis had earlier remarried and left town before returning some time later. Jarred was now 18, his sister 23.

After the hearing, which resulted in the end of the payments, Harrell embraced the children on the courthouse steps before they parted.

While he stayed in touch with his daughter, Harrell said he only saw Jarred two other times before his mug shot appeared last week on their local news. On both occasions, at a local Walmart and at the birth of his niece, Harrell said Jarred inexplicably turned away from him without speaking.

The future

Howard Harrell said he has no plans to reach out to Jarred as he sits in jail. He said he wonders, however, whether Jarred is being railroaded by authorities eager to solve Somer Thompson’s slaying.

Sheriff Beseler said the child-pornography charges stem from graphic images former Orange Park roommates found on Jarred’s laptop and computer discs, which they turned over to police.

Beseler has refused to say what evidence exists that might link Harrell to Somer, who used to walk home from school passed a home where Jarred was known to stay. The home, now unoccupied, is owned by a man now married to Jarred’s mother.

“They’re just tying to find somebody to put it on,” Howard Harrell said.

He said there’s one more thing he can’t get off his mind: He’s not really certain if Jarred is even his son.

Harrell said Jarred’s mother always insisted he is the father and court documents link them as father and son. But Harrell’s current wife said the two men look nothing alike. And Harrell, still distrusting of Jarred’s mother, said he has his doubts. Not that he’s ready to disown Jarred yet.

“I don’t have no other choice,” Harrell said. “I raised him for five years.”

Harrell said if anything comes from the ongoing criminal investigation, it may be his chance to get an answer. Along with the DNA sample he gave to the FBI, Harrell said he has been told his son changed his mind and gave his own sample some time later.

Harrell said he hopes another stranger or two will come knocking on his door again and let him know.


http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/crime/2010-02-17/story/man_of_interest_in_somer_thompson_slaying_had_unstable_childhood
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

Post by Justice4all on Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:34 am

Governor asks that person of interest in Somer case be extradited

Story updated at 12:22 AM on Friday, Feb. 19, 2010

Gov. Charlie Crist requested Thursday that Mississippi authorities extradite Jarred Harrell to Clay County, where he faces 29 counts of child pornography and has been named as a person of interest in the Somer Thompson slaying.

Harrell, 24, could be extradited as early as next week, Mississippi authorities told The Times-Union this week.

Harrell was arrested last week in Meridian, Miss., where he was staying with an aunt after leaving Florida about 2? weeks earlier. He is being held on $1 million bail on the child pornography warrant.

Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler named Harrell a person of interest in Somer's slaying, but has refused to discuss evidence in the case. Harrell at one time lived along the same route taken by the girl when she disappeared while walking home from Grove Park Elementary School.

After his arrest last week, Harrell refused to sign paperwork waiving extradition. To get Harrell back to Florida, local prosecutors submitted paperwork to Crist's office explaining what led to the pornography charges and identifying Harrell as the suspect.


http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/crime/2010-02-19/story/law_disorder_governor_asks_that_person_of_interest_in_somer_case_b
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Re: Somer Thompson -- Found Deceased 10/21/09

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