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SOMER RENEE THOMPSON - Aged 7 years - Orange Park, Florida (USA)

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default Re: SOMER RENEE THOMPSON - Aged 7 years - Orange Park, Florida (USA)

Post  merlynsam on Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:21 pm

CMN News

March 2nd, 2010

Somer Thompson Case Arrest Affidavits Available: Person of Interest Ineligible for Bail

(snippet)

The beautiful little who disappeared while walking home from school in October is dead, and there is a person of interest in the case. Jarred Harrell was recently arrested because of multiple counts of child pornography found on his home computer during a search by authorities. So far, there are 29 counts of child pornography.

In addition, he’s been charged with charges of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child younger than 12 and 12 counts of producing/promoting a sexual performance by a child.


http://cnmnewsnetwork.com/11533/somer-thompson-case-arrest-affidavits-available-person-of-interest-ineligible-for-bail/

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:23 pm

First Coast News

3/3/2010

By Dave Wax and Ann Butler

First Baptist Church of Orange Park Hosts '32 Seconds' Safety Seminar

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/news-article.aspx?storyid=152728&catid=3

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Post  merlynsam on Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:10 am

News4jax

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Man Has Bizarre Connection To Harrell

Jarred Harrell Named Person Of Interest In Killing Of Somer Thompson

http://www.news4jax.com/news/22743700/detail.html

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Post  merlynsam on Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:12 am

WOKV

March 4, 2010

By Jeff Hess

Wacky Inventor's Connection To A Notorious Local Murder

http://wokv.com/localnews/2010/03/wacky-inventors-connection-to.html

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Post  merlynsam on Sat May 22, 2010 9:07 pm

US POst Today

26th March 2010

Somer Thompson – Jarred Harrell Charged With Premeditated Murder

http://www.usposttoday.com/somer-thompson-jarred-harrell-charged-with-premeditated-murder/

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Post  merlynsam on Sat May 22, 2010 9:09 pm

Now Public

March 26, 2010

by Amy Judd

Jarred Harrell Charged With Murder in Somer Thompson Case

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/jarred-harrell-charged-murder-somer-thompson-case-2596655.html

--------------------------------------------------------------

Digital Journal

Mar 28, 2010

by Bob Gordon

Suspect charged in murder of Florida child last October

http://digitaljournal.com/article/289678#ixzz104OMq11t

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Post  merlynsam on Sat May 22, 2010 9:18 pm

msnbc.com

March 26, 2010

Man charged in Somer Thompson’s murder

Seven-year-old disappeared while walking home from school last year


Jarred Harrell is seen in this booking photo released by the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

ORANGE PARK, Fla. - Investigators in Florida have charged a 24-year-old man with murder in the slaying of a 7-year-old girl who disappeared while walking home from school last year.

Jarred Mitchell Harrell was charged Friday with killing Somer Thompson. He has been in custody since Feb. 11, when authorities arrested Harrell in Mississippi on Florida child pornography charges. Harrell was then extradited to Florida.

(continues)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36051745

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Post  merlynsam on Sat May 22, 2010 9:24 pm

Clay Today

April 26, 2010

Diena Thompson disappointed at hearing delay

http://www.claytoday.biz/content/2206_1.php

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Post  merlynsam on Sat May 22, 2010 9:25 pm

WOKV.com

April 28, 2010

By Tiffany Griffith

Thompson Confronts Daughter's Accused Killer in Court

http://wokv.com/localnews/2010/04/thompson-confronts-daughters-a.html

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Post  merlynsam on Sat May 22, 2010 9:26 pm

Clay Today

April 29, 2010

Diena sees murder suspect for first time

http://www.claytodayonline.com/content/2221_1.php

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Post  merlynsam on Sat May 22, 2010 9:31 pm

Prime Writer

April 29, 2010

by Emma James

Somer Thompson case: Somer’s mother attends hearing for daughter’s alleged killer, Jarred Harrell

(snippet)

Jarred Harrell has pleaded not guilty to all charges. All three of the defenses motions were denied. Jarred Harrell will return to court on May 20, 2010.

http://primewriter.com/news-1246-headlines/?p=6452

THIS REPORT INCLUDES VIDEO LINKS:

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Post  merlynsam on Sat May 22, 2010 9:33 pm

News4Jax

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Somer Foundation Pushes For New Bill

Law Would Require Sex Offenders To Live Outside 1-Mile Radius From School

http://www.news4jax.com/news/23606613/detail.html

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Post  merlynsam on Sat May 22, 2010 9:35 pm

News4Jax

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Prosecutors To Seek Death For Harrell

http://www.news4jax.com/news/23620486/detail.html

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Post  merlynsam on Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:09 pm

news4jax

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Man Accused Of Killing 7-Year-Old Orange Park Girl Somer Thompson

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- Jarred Harrell, the man accused of killing 7-year-old Somer Thompson, did not appear at a pretrial hearing Thursday morning.

A prosecutor told the judge depositions in Somer's murder case are under way.

Diena Thompson, Somer's mother, was in the courtroom for the hearing. When Harrell's name was called, she closed her eyes, leaned her head on her father's shoulder and cried softly.

(continues)

http://www.news4jax.com/news/24021450/detail.html


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Post  merlynsam on Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:12 pm

Clay Today

June 29, 2010

By Stephen Kindland

Child murder suspect a no-show at pretrial hearing

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The mother of a 7-year-old child whose body was found in a South Georgia landfill two days after she went missing will have to wait until August to see what progress is being made in the prosecution of her daughter’s alleged killer.

Diena Thompson of Orange Park was with her father in a Clay County court room on Thursday, June 24, but the accused murderer was not. Instead, attorneys for 24-year-old Jarred Harrell spoke briefly to Circuit Judge John Skinner, telling the judge during the pretrial hearing that depositions still are being taken.

(continues)

http://www.claytodayonline.com/content/2421_1.php


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Post  merlynsam on Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:16 pm

Clay Today

September 13, 2010

By Stephen Kindland

Input sought for Somer Thompson vigil

ORANGE PARK – The president of an expanded Neighborhood Watch program is seeking input from the general public about activities to coincide with a candlelight vigil planned for the first anniversary of the slaying of 7-year-old Somer Thompson.

Hayward Peterson, who prefers to call himself an area coordinator for the newly established First Coast Neighborhood Watch program, is asking anyone interested in helping to organize the event to attend a meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16 at the Pentecostal church, 1909 Debarry Ave., near Kingsley Avenue.

(continues)

http://www.claytodayonline.com/content/2665_1.php

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Post  merlynsam on Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:19 pm

news4jax

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pretrial Hearing Held In Harrell Murder Case

Jarred Harrell Not In Court In 7-Year-Old Girl's Killing

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- The man charged with murder in the death of 7-year-old Somer Thompson had a court date Tuesday, though he did not appear at the hearing.

Jarred Harrell is facing 58 charges, including killing the Orange Park girl last October.

Though Harrell was not in court, the case proceeded with a pretrial hearing. Other charges Harrell is facing include possession of child pornography, child molestation and promoting the sexual activity of a child, none of which are associated with Somer.

(continues)

http://www.news4jax.com/news/25189074/detail.html

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Post  merlynsam on Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:41 am

WESH.com

October 15, 2010

Somer Thompson Remembered 1 Year Later
Vigil Planned On Anniversary Of Girl's Disappearance

ORLANDO, Fla. -- It has been one year since the killing of a North Florida girl as she walked home from school.

Somer Thompson, 7, was kidnapped and killed in Clay County before her body was found in a Georgia landfill a few days later.

As the man accused of killing Somer awaits trial, the girl's mother shared her grief on Friday and sent a message to parents during an interview on NBC's "Today."

Diena Thompson said she plans to mark the anniversary of Somer's slaying with a vigil.

Tuesday will mark one year since Somer disappeared on her way home from school. Jarred Harrell is accused of kidnapping and killing the child. He pleaded not guilty.

Thompson vowed to attend every court hearing until justice is served.

"I still feel guilty for what happened to Somer, and I want her to know I will always be there for her no matter what," Thompson said. "The monster has made me stronger."

On the day she vanished, Somer had been walking home with her siblings, including her twin brother, Samuel Thompson.

Thompson said Samuel struggles with Somer's death.

"There's nothing like a mother's love, but I don't know that I would compare a twin's love to my love," Thompson said. "They've been together since the very beginning."

Thompson said it's critical that parents teach their children how to avoid dangerous situations and how to defend themselves.

"We need to stop just telling our children things and teaching them. If you have a bad feeling, run the other way. If someone tries to snatch you, you kick, scream, punch, bite," Thompson said.

Thompson has started the Somer Thompson Foundation to help low-income families who must deal with the slaying of their children and can't afford funeral costs.

http://www.wesh.com/news/25402338/detail.html

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Post  merlynsam on Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:44 am

AOL News

October 15, 2010

Mother of Slain 7-Year-Old Vows to Attend Trial

The mother of the slain 7-year-old Florida girl whose body was found in a landfill says she will attend every single day of the trial of the man accused of kidnapping, molesting and killing her daughter.

A year after Somer Thompson vanished, Diena Thompson has vowed to honor her daughter's memory by facing 25-year-old Jarred Mitchell Harrell in court.

"I still feel guilty for what happened to Somer," she told NBC's "Today" show this morning in an emotional interview in which she seemed to struggle at times to finish her sentences. "And so I want her to know that I'll always be there for her, no matter what the ..."

Somer was walking home from school Oct. 19 with her twin brother Samuel in Orange Park, Fla., when Harrell allegedly snatched her off the street. Her body was found two days later in a Georgia landfill.

With tears in her eyes, Thompson, a single mother, said she will make it through Harrell's trial, a death penalty case, no matter how hard it gets. "The monster has made me stronger," she told NBC.

Harrell has been charged with premeditated murder, sexual battery and assault, but it may be years before his case comes to trial. He has pleaded not guilty.

Thompson said she has started a foundation to help low-income parents of slain children pay for funeral costs. "I didn't know how I was going to be able to afford to take care of my baby after she passed away," she said.

Thompson also said parents need to do more to teach their kids how to be safe. "If you have a bad feeling, run the other way. If someone tries to snatch you, you kick, scream, punch, bite," she said.

http://www.aolnews.com/crime/article/mom-of-slain-7-year-old-somer-thompson-vows-to-attend-trial/19675467

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Post  merlynsam on Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:51 am

News4jax

October 19, 2010

1 Year Ago: Somer Thompson Disappears
7-Year-Old Girl's Body Found In Georgia Landfill; Mother Still Asks Why

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Late afternoon on Monday, Oct. 19, 2009, people living in the Grove Park neighborhood of Orange Park got an alarming call from police: a 7-year-old girl never made it home from school.

Neighbors grabbed their flashlights and went out to help deputies search for Somer Thompson. It was a school night and too cold for a little girl to be outside for long.

"We're leaving no stone unturned," Sheriff Rick Beseler said.

Dawn the next day, there was no sign of the girl described as happy, friendly, and a child who would never run away. Somer's picture and story dominated the news, and fliers and posters went up at every business and on every light pole.

Hours turned into days. Dozens of searchers turned into hundreds.

Time was working against investigators. The longer she was gone, the less likely she was safe.

Late that Wednesday, news came like a dagger to the heart:

"It is with deep regret and sadness that I have to inform you that a body has been found in the landfill in Folkston, Ga.," Beseler announced.

While forensics would not positively identify the remains as Somer for two days, the community knew.

She was found miles from the neighborhood where Somer thought she was safe, her body discarded like trash, discovered when a Clay County detective acting on a hunch followed garbage trucks to the landfill.

Those who never met Somer cried for her, crowded into her funeral or lined the streets the hearse carrying her small casket took. Hundreds of purple balloons were released in her honor, marking a young life that ended way too soon.

Somer's mom's heart was pierced, but she remained strong throughout.

"I just want to thank you so much," Diena Thompson said.

For law enforcement, finding Somer's body was just the beginning. Team Somer -- a task force of 15 detectives -- followed 4,475 leads. For four months, people remained on edge wondering if there was a killer still in the community.

Over time, Diena Thompson's pain turned into anger.

"You can't hide. We will find you," she said.

Then, on Feb. 11, the FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement were spotted searching a home Somer passed every day on her way home from school. Later that week, the man who had lived in that house in October was named a person of interest: Jarred Harrell, a 24-year-old who had moved to Mississippi.

Within a day, he was under arrest -- not charged with murder, but 29 counts of possession of child pornography.

On Feb. 23, Harrell was extradited to Clay County, and disturbing details of the child porn charges emerged. Investigators later added 26 new charges for images of girls as young as 3, some believed to have been taken by Harrell in his own bedroom.

One month later -- March 26 -- Team Somer had enough evidence to charge Harrell with murder.

The details that emerged were disturbing, but not unexpected: Somer was raped, suffocated and her body left in a commercial trash bin.

"Why? Why to a 7-year-old girl -- my baby?" Diena Thompson asked.

While she knows she may never get an answer, she still hopes. Every time she sees Harrell in court, she said she wants to shout out, "Why?"

Thompson said she stayed quiet because she made a promise 365 days ago -- a promise to her daughter: Justice for Somer.

Beseler will be among those who will speak Tuesday evening at a candlelight vigil for Somer at Orange Park Junior High School. The vigil begins at 5 p.m. and will end with a walk to Somer's house on Gano Avenue. The public is welcome to attend.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/25431571/detail.html


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Post  merlynsam on Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:53 am

WOKV

October 19, 2010

Somer Thompson Vigil Today

One year ago today we first heard the name Somer Thompson. The Orange Park girl went missing on her walk home from school. Her body was later found in a landfill in southeast Georgia.

Today, First Coast Neighborhood Watch is having a candlelight vigil.

"It's gonna be a remembrance of Somer and her life, and also a vigil to help keep awareness raised in our community about the need for protection of our children", said Beverly Peterson of Neighborhood Watch.

Somer's mother, Diena is expected to attend the vigil at Orange Park Jr. High School at 5pm.

Jared Harrell is accused of kidnapping and murdering the girl. Harrell is in jail awaiting trial on murder charges.

http://wokv.com/localnews/2010/10/somer-thompson-vigil-today.html

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Post  merlynsam on Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:57 am

DIGTRIAD

19/10/2010

Father Hopes Somer Thompson's Death Helps Protect Others

Burlington, NC -- Tuesday marked one year since Somer Thompson disappeared while walking home from her Florida school. The seven-year-old's body was found days later in a Georgia landfill.

She used to live in Alamance County, which is where her father, Sam Thompson, still lives.

He said the first few months following her murder were the most difficult, along with holidays and birthdays.

"I think it will probably be a process that will probably never get any easier for you as a parent for the rest of your life," Thompson said.

Emotions have built in the days leading up to the one-year-mark, he said.

"You kind of relive everything you went through on that day: The phone call saying she was missing. It's pretty tough. It really is," he said.

"For me the hardest part is not being there to save her, but there was a purpose and a plan for her life," Thompson said, adding that plan is all about protecting other children.

"I don't want anybody to forget that it could be your kid. Let's just please do everything we can to make sure our neighborhoods are safe and that are kids are watched and they're not put in that position for a predator to snatch them. It only takes a second," he said.

Thompson refers to his daughter's accused killer, Jarred Harrell as "the monster."

"(I) don't really like to use his name. He doesn't deserve a name," Thompson said.

Harrell was charged with first degree murder, kidnapping, sexual battery, and lewd or lascivious battery charges in connection to Somer's death. He pleaded not guilty in April. A trial has not yet occured.

Thompson said he struggles to balance his desire to "have a few minutes alone with him (Harrell) to give justice" for Somer, and the reality of having to let the courts handle it.

"When it's there in front of you, there's a lot of other decisions going behind that. I just have pray that the justice system will take care of this," Thompson said.

"My religion tells me I have to forgive him," he said.

As hard as forgiveness is for Thompson, and as much as his faith has been tested, he said faith helped him get through this first year without his daughter.

"I talked to her before I came here today. I said, 'Somer, just going to talk about you a little bit today, honey. We love you and miss you. Forever,'" he said.

http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=149461&catid=57

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Post  merlynsam on Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:02 am

News4jax

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Somer's Mom Talks Of Loss, Justice
Family Still Struggles 1 Year After 7-Year-Old Somer Thompson Disappeared

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One year after her 7-year-old daughter was kidnapped and killed, Diena Thompson said it feels like it was just yesterday that she was sending her first-grader off to school.

Thompson said her first thought every morning is still of Somer.

"For the first couple of minutes you sit up in bed and you think, 'It was just a bad dream,'" Thompson said. "And then you come out into the living room and you see the pictures and the stuff that people gave to remember her, and you realized it's not a dream, it's not a nightmare. It's real."

Thompson talked to Channel 4's Jennifer Waugh about life without her daughter and the call that changed her life.

"I knew she was gone. Really," Thompson said. "My stomach said to me at 4:03 (p.m.) Oct. 19, 2009, that somebody's got your baby and you're never going to see her again."

It was a mother's painful intuition, and something she'd been unable to tell anyone, until now.

Somer disappeared in broad daylight, walking home from school, with children and parents all around.

"The police looked at me and told me they were going to bring her home, but there was something inside of me," Thompson said.

After a massive search, her precious daughter's body was found in the landfill in Charlton County, Ga., where Orange Park's trash is dumped.

Five months later, Clay County detectives arrested a neighbor, Jarred Harrell, on charges of child pornography. After more investigation, Harrell was charged with murder.

Harrell had lived in a house his parents owned that Somer walked by every day on her way home from school.

"I don't even remember seeing that house on the times that I have taken my children to school or the times that I have picked them up from school," Thompson said. "It was just a house, and a house can't hurt you."

While remaining in the neighborhood with that house -- that constant reminder -- is difficult, in the words of Somer's twin brother, Samuel, "You can't leave all our memories behind. This is where all of our memories are. This is where Somer is. You can't leave that," Thompson said.

Diena Thompson said she can still remember the smell of Somer's hair, the feeling of Somer's arms around her waist. And she still feels torn between two worlds: wanting to be in heaven with Somer, but knowing her other children need her even more.

"I don't ever want my children, my surviving children, to ever think, ever, that they are not enough to make me happy," Thompson said. "If Somer's taught me anything, she's taught me how to be a better mother, how to love deeper."

Thompson attends every court hearing for Jarred Harrell, still unable to fathom what happened to her little girl.

"To throw her in the trash like she was nothing ...," Thompson said, not able to finish the sentence. "You throw things in the trash that you don't want. He may not have wanted her, but I did."

Thompson said Somer's favorite song -- "You Are My Sunshine" -- still brings joy to her home through music boxes given to her right after Somer was lost. When they hear the music, it makes them feel like Somer is still here -- standing next to them.

Thompson addressed a crowd at a vigil for Somer on Tuesday night.

"It's time for these predators and monsters to start being scared of us, and us stop being scared of them," she said, drawing an applause from the crowd. "I will do anything in my power humanly possible, even if it's travel all over the world telling my story that hurts really bad. But I'm going to save somebody else's kid."

Kindness Of Strangers

For the first time, Thompson allowed Channel 4's camera to show for the first time the family's private memorial to Somer.

"This is a prayer blanket that someone made for us," Thompson said. "I wanted to put out everything that anyone made me because I wanted them to know that they bring me comfort."

Pictures of Somer are everywhere. Everything placed at a makeshift memorial outside the family's home those first days and weeks was saved. Thompson calls them her treasures.

"I believe everything happens for a reason and I've been chosen for this," Thompson said. "Why? I probably won't know the answer to that. All I can say is that I just won't lay down. I will stand up until I take my last breath for our children."

Thompson funnels her energy now into helping protect other children from sexual predators, and in making sure that the man police say raped and killed her daughter will never get out of jail.

She now shares with other children her private conversations about the day Somer ran off from her older sister and twin brother as they walked home from school -- the day Somer disappeared -- and wondering if it was Harrell's dog that lured her daughter into his home -- and to her death.

"She loved animals, so she went there looking for that little dog so she could put her face up to that fence and let him lick her and she would have felt better," Thompson said. "Maybe (he) told her the dog was inside. I just don't know. That's why I want to go to trial. I want to know what happened."

Thompson realizes she may never get her questions answered, but she'll never miss a court date. Harrell has pleaded not guilty and is not expected to appear in court again until his trial begins, probably next year.

"I'm left here to pick up the pieces to try to make sense of what happened," Thompson said. "I want her to smile down on me from heaven and look up at God and Jesus and say, 'See, that's my mommy.'"

http://www.news4jax.com/news/25444661/detail.html



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