Somer Renee Thompson was on her way home after school Monday afternoon with her twin brother and her older sister when after a fight she ran ahead of them running towards her home. This was the last time this 7 year old child was seen alive.

When her mother started wondering where she was when she knew she should have been home by then went out in the neighborhood looking for her daughter. After about 2 hours roaming through the neighborhood she saw a sheriff’s car passing by so she flagged them down to report that she couldn’t find her daughter which set the off search.

Two days later the body of a child was found in a landfill in Georgia that was later identified to be that of Somer Renee Thompson. Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said the legs of a child were sticking out with the rest of the body covered with garbage. Somer’s father, Samuel Thompson identified the body by a circular birthmark on the child’s shin.

Wednesday night a group of about 200 people gathered at Somer’s mothers, Diena Thompson. She blamed herself for not knowing how something like this could happen. She asked the crowd if they would sing Somer’s favorite song with her which was “You Are My Sunshine”. Then they sang “Jesus Loves Me” and “This Little Light of Mine”. While singing Diena collapsed and family and her boyfriend carried her back inside her home as the crowd began singing “Amazing Grace”.

Sheriff Beseler said now that the body has been found the direction of the investigation has changed. “Now we are looking for a suspect,” he said at a briefing, “somebody did it, now we’ve got to find out who.”

Detectives discovered the body as part of a routine search of trash that is hauled from Orange Park to the landfill in Georgia. They had searched through hundreds of tons of garbage when they spotted her legs. An autopsy will be done on the child in Georgia to find the cause of death.

Somer’s mother talked about her last moments with her daughter Monday morning. She remembers putting her hair into a ponytail before sending her off to school. “I can’t even remember if I told her I loved her,” she said. “I just went to work and told her to have a good day.”

Her twin brother, Sam talked of the live oak tree across from his home that has become a makeshift symbol of hope for Somer as he was carefully arranging the flowers that were thrown at the tree’s base with lighted candles and pictures of his sister. “Somer is going to be so happy to see this,” he said, “If we ever get her back.”

This is so heartbreaking to me and I have never met this adorable little girl. When I woke up this morning and found that the child found was identified as Somer I started crying. Although I knew a body had been found, in my prayers last night I didn’t know which way to pray. I prayed it wasn’t Somer but then again I had to pray for whoever she was. Regardless of who she was, still a little girl is dead. She was someone’s child. Someone threw her away like she was trash. Don’t people realize a child is a true gift from God that we should cherish, not abuse.

I pray now that they catch the animal[s] that did this. I just can’t imagine the fear that this child took to her death. My heart truly aches for her. When is this going to stop? Parents should check out their neighborhoods now to find out just how many Sex Offenders live in the area before even considering raising their children in a place. Back in the days when my children were young it wasn’t such an issue but now for my grandchildren it is dangerous and parents need to make it their duty to check things out to protect these children. Laws need to be changed. If only someone could come up with an answer. IF ONLY!

My husband, Simon and I send our deepest condolences to Somer Thompson’s family and friends. We can’t say enough how sorry we are. God Bless You all!

Jan Barrett

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