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Post Info TOPIC: Amber Alert Bolo - Somer Renee Thompson 10 -20 -09 Female 7yrs - CLAY COUNTY, Fla - Deceased

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RE: Amber Alert Bolo - Somer Renee Thompson 10 -20 -09 Female 7yrs - CLAY COUNTY, Fla - Deceased


ORANGE PARK - They are trees of life. And death.

Of hopes and dreams.

Of loss and despair.

Around and taped to the two oaks across the street from Somer Renee Thompson's home is an ever-widening collection of candles, posters, balloons, flowers and hundreds of stuffed animals - a tribute to a little girl lost then found in a Georgia landfill, a life cut short by an unknown evil.

The growing memorial began shortly after the 7-year-old disappeared Monday while walking home from school with friends in her suburban neighborhood. Back then, the posters said things like "Somer Please Come Home" and "Amber Alert" - signs of hope the girl would be found.

Many of those signs are still there, but alongside are messages of despair and vengeance, of heaven and angels, that began appearing Wednesday when Somer's body was found at the Folkston, Ga., landfill where her neighborhood's trash ends up. The signs track the police investigation, from missing child to murder.

"Our Joy Left Upon This Mound." "Justice For Somer." "Whoever Did This, We Are Going To Get You."

The massive memorial is the first thing Somer's family sees when walking out the front door in the morning, the last thing before locking up at night.

It's become a gathering spot for well-wishers, reporters and the nightly vigil that has drawn perfect strangers to the spot.

Saturday night, a woman set up luminarias on the street, and a young boy handed out candles for the dozens of people gathered. Drivers in a steady stream of cars shouted "We love you."

"I haven't been able to think about anything else," said Lori Childers, who traveled from her home in Riverside to deliver a teddy bear and a card. She doesn't know Somer's family, but raised three children of her own and wanted to do what she could. She wished she could do more, like find the killer.

'We're coming for you'

Detectives have finished gathering evidence at the landfill and the vacant home near where she was last seen, police said Saturday. It is being processed by labs in Florida and Georgia.

But there was no news on whether they are any closer to identifying who killed Somer.

"We're coming for you, buddy," Somer's mother, Diena Thompson, said Saturday night after thanking those who showed up for the vigil and leading them in "You Are My Sunshine," Somer's favorite song. "Detectives are busting their ***** to find it, because it's an it."

Afterward, the gatherers, many of them children, stayed behind and sang impromptu songs of hope.

Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler is hoping the investigation gets a boost from the Fox Television show "America's Most Wanted," which has put together a segment on Somer and is featuring the case on its Internet site. It was unclear Saturday when the TV segment would run.

And the reward pot grew as an Orange Park business owner chipped in $2,500 to the $30,000 being offered by Crime Stoppers and the Justice Coalition for information leading to a suspect. Howard Cummins of Howard Construction challenged other businesses to do the same.

Clay County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Mary Justino said investigators have received 1,100 tips, 200 of which remain active. More than 2,000 people have been contacted by investigators, and 50 have been directly interviewed.

Dominick Pape, special agent-in-charge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement office in Jacksonville, said investigators have ruled out any connection between a reported abduction attempt Oct. 10 in the same area and Somer's Oct. 19 disappearance. He said the blue Nissan reported in that case belongs to an FDLE member who stopped to help the girl after she almost got hit by a car and stayed with her until determining she was safe.

Diena Thompson met Saturday morning with Bruce Tarkington, the pastor who will conduct Somer's funeral at First Baptist Church of Orange Park.

"They spent the morning talking about Somer ... sharing stories about her so that Pastor Tarkington could speak from his heart at the services," Justino said.

The family is asking people to bring purple balloons to release after Tuesday's funeral.,

(904) 359-4107

Reward First Coast Crime Stoppers and the Justice Coalition announced a combined reward of $32,500 for tips leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Call the Sheriff's Office at (877) 227-6911 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-8477 (845-TIPS) to remain anonymous or e-mail How to contribute - Anyone interested in assisting the family with expenses related to Somer's death can do so at any area VyStar Credit Union. A bank account has been set up in the name of Somer Thompson with the account number 0702794000. - Residents and businesses wishing to donate to the reward should contact the Justice Coalition at (904) 783-6312 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-8477 (845-TIPS). The Justice Coalition also has set up an account, number 3123504437, for people to donate to the reward at two Ameris Bank locations in Jacksonville - 888 Lane Ave. and 4835 Town Center Parkway. Rally A rally and fundraiser in support of the family will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Orange Park Town Hall, 2042 Park Ave. There will be an auction, bounce house, bake sale and more. VISITATION, SERVICES Visitation (open): 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at First Baptist Church of Orange Park, 1140 Kingsley Ave. Memorial service (open): 11 a.m. Tuesday at same location. Graveside service and burial (private): Tuesday, immediately following memorial service, Jacksonville Memory Gardens, 111 Blanding Blvd., Orange Park (procession from Kingsley Avenue to Blanding Boulevard to cemetery property). Reception (private): Tuesday, immediately following burial, First Baptist Church of Orange Park.


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Somer Thompson murder may be the work of serial pedophile, says 'America's Most Wanted' host

Read more of the Walsh interview at ABC News.

Read more:

Seven-year-old Somer Thompson's murderer may have killed before, "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh said on "Good Morning America" Monday.

Though there wasn't any direct evidence tying the cases, Walsh mentioned four unsolved child disappearances that rocked the Jacksonville region two decades ago.

"The sheriff and I both feel that it's a predator who has probably done it before," Walsh told the ABC morning news program.

A week after the 7-year-old girl's disappearance on her way home from school in Orange Park, Fla., there have been few concrete leads into finding her killer. Her body was discovered several days later in a landfill just over the Georgia border.

Local, state and national law enforcement agencies have received 1,150 tips from around the country, according to federal sources, but none of them were from eyewitnesses to her abduction, The Associated Press reported.

The youngster’s mother, Diena Thompson, thanked the dozens of mourners who held vigil outside her home Saturday for "an amazing outpouring of support," The Associated Press reported.

"All I want to happen is that my baby didn't die in vain and that we catch him," she said.

A viewing was scheduled Monday night for Somer Thompson, with the funeral following Tuesday morning.

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