Somer Thompson Someone Knows The Answer to The Question

The Search for the Killer of Somer Thompson
News Type: Event — Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:52 AM EDT

Somer Thompson
us-news, florida, fbi, kidnapped
Clint Van Zandt

The body of a 7-year-old Florida girl who has been missing since 3 PM on Monday has been found in a landfill some 60 miles from her home. Evidently good police work led to following the trash truck pickups from the victim’s neighborhood to a local site, and then on to the south Georgia landfill. Landfills keep records as to where each truck load of trash is deposited, and as investigators were quick to follow up on this potential, they were also quick to find the victim’s body, initially identified by a birthmark on her knee, as it lay among the tons of trash.
This finding now suggests that after the victim was kidnapped, her body was somehow disposed of, like so much trash, that wound up in a dumpster and eventually found its way to the landfill. Were if not for the quick thinking of investigators tons more of trash and dirt would have been placed over the victim’s body and she would likely never have been found, becoming, like Natalle Holloway, another missing child who now stays the same age in the mind of her parents forever.

The FBI’s Evidence Response Team is responsible for recovering the victim’s body and other potential evidence from the landfill. Her hands and feet will be placed in plastic bags to protect any potential evidence, like skin cells under her nails that could be that of her killer and later identified by DNA. Other evidence found on and near her body will be bagged and retained, noting there could have been some type of transference from the victim to her killer, or the opposite, evidence that could link someone to the young girls death. Identifiable items that can be traced to a particular address that are found with the victim’s body may also help investigators identify the exact location where the victim’s body was placed in the trash that was subsequently transferred to the Georgia land fill.

The landfill is but one of perhaps four different crime scenes to be identified, to include where her body was recovered, the means used by her killer to transport her body (perhaps a car), the location where she was assaulted and likely murdered, and the location where she was originally confronted by her killer.

There appears to be a very small window of opportunity for a kidnapper/predator to have taken Somer. We know that on Monday afternoon she walked the one mile from her grade school to her home accompanied by her twin brother and at least one older sibling, plus a few neighborhood children. There are reports that some kind of argument took place and that the victim ran ahead of this group of children, running out of their sight on her way to her home. Evidently she never arrived. If this is the case, it appears that there would have been at best a 5 – 10 minute window for a kidnapper to take her. When she was found to be missing her mother was called at work and she came home and notified authorities. This time lag in reporting, perhaps 1 to 1 1/2 hours from the time Somer was taken, would have been critical in a missing person investigation and would, of course, have given her kidnapper a head start against authorities.

Somer’s biological father has been separated from Somer’s mother and their children for a few years, and now lives in N. Carolina. Evidently Somer’s mother has a current boyfriend, a person the media has not discussed. He is someone whose whereabouts and activities need to be accounted for as part of this investigation. The challenge here is that either someone was waiting for the opportunity to kidnap a child in that neighborhood and saw his chance when the lone and possible distraught 7-year-old walked down the street, or a stalker or child predator knew full well of the children in the neighborhood, had targeted the victim and seized his chance. Either way children as young as Somer should never walk alone and the childish spat she had may well have allowed her to be targeted in this terrible manner.

Investigators have located the 100+ registered sexual predators in the area around her home while hundreds of others can be found in nearby communities. Neighbors will be interviewed to determine if they saw Somer this past Monday, and a search continues for her missing book bag.

Statistically every three days a child becomes a victim like Somer apparently has, a victim of abuse, assault and murder. While we do not yet know the identity of the person responsible for her death, should he be a known sexual predator, it would be but one more case crying out for a national one-strike law for such offenders. Meanwhile Florida 6-year-old Haleigh Cummings has not been seen since February 2009 and her abductor also remains unidentified, this while John Couey, the sex offender convicted of the February 2005 murder of Florida 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, died in prison last month.

Every community has its share of registered sex offenders, most of whom are not potential killers, but should someone violently offend against a child like Somer or Haleigh or Jessica, we should work to insure they never see the light of day again as a free man or woman. We, as a society, need to reconsider our incarceration of minor drug offenders and others that do not prey on children and reserve our jail cells for the true predators of our land, like John Couey. The “average” sexual predator will offend against 117 children before he is dealt with by the criminal justice system, leaving 117 victims who may never be able to forget their abuse at the hands of their offenders. One such California offender kept records of over 30,000 of the children he victimized. These are the individuals that need to be removed from our streets so they can no longer threaten or harm our children again.

UPDATE – 10/28/09

As part of a general criminal profile, the FBI provided investigators with the following to share with the public in an attempt to develop information concerning Thompson’s suspected killer:

The FBI believes there are people in the community that have information about the crime, but are not coming forward because they don’t feel that their information is relevant to the investigation. Investigators believe that there are specific traits that people may not immediately recognize but want people to think about. Some of these traits could be:

-Anyone that may have left the area for a seemingly plausible reason on or around the day Somer disappeared on Oct. 19.

-The suspect may have missed work recently.

-Any unexplained injuries, such as cuts to the hands, arms or head.

-An unnatural interest in the investigation particularly to media coverage.

-Increased nervousness.

-Facial hair changes.

-Someone that may have abandoned their vehicle recently, such as selling it, giving it away, or hiding it in a garage.

-A sudden change in religious beliefs; either becoming more religious or less religious.

-An unusual change in sleep patterns.

-An increase in drug or alcohol use.

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For a free copy of our DVD, “Protecting Children from Predators,” go to http://www.LiveSecure.org. We’ve given away thousands and the information contained in the DVD can help save lives!

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