Monday, February 1, 2010

Somer Thompson: Is Justice Coming?

By Susan Murphy Milano

On October 19, 2009, during the half-mile walk home from school, seven-year-old Somer Thompson got into a fight with her sister and ran ahead. Within minutes, she was nowhere to be found. Diena Thompson, Somer's mother, called home from work to check on her kids around 4:00 PM. When she learned Somer was missing, she went home to look for her daughter. According to reports, Diena ran home, and various members of the family searched the immediate area. Because Somer had a pattern of taking off on her own, her mother didn't call police for about three hours.

By nine that evening, there were helicopters and law enforcement searching the creeks alleys and wooded area within a two-mile radius.

In a news conference later that evening, police announced that deputies were contacting the 53 sexual offenders who lived in the area as part of their investigation. At the time of the abduction, 10 registered sex offenders lived within a mile, 39 within two miles, 74 within three miles, and 132 within five miles of Somer's house.

Two days later, authorities found the body of a white child in a Georgia landfill -- the landfill where the trash from Somer's neighborhood went every week. Crime-scene investigation units started working the site immediately.

The decision to search the town trash came from a detective. Authorities assigned an officer for each truck carrying trash, to watch as the refuse poured out. The little girl's body was in one of the trucks. If not for the quick thinking of one hell of a cop, Somer's body would never have been found. Makes me wonder: just how many bodies go undetected once they reach a landfill?

In the town where Somer lived with her family, children no longer play in the parks. More parents, I am told, send their children to after-school care. Out of fear, the community has come together to keep a watchful eye on anything suspicious. No child is left to walk alone. Drive through the neighborhood surrounding the Thompson home, and you'll see what looks and feels like a ghost town. You won't see children riding bikes or playing baseball in a nearby vacant lot.

In my opinion, this three-month-old case seems to have gone somewhat cold. No new developments keep this horrific case in the headlines. No one seems to be asking for the public to come forward with any tips or information that will lead to the killer -- except for Diena Thompson. In a recent interview on NBC, Diena discussed the case and the $65,000 reward offered to bring this murderer to justice.

The community and family of Somer Thompson were spared the gruesome details of how this child, this precious gift of life, was murdered. Perhaps they need to be told. Maybe the community needs to demand answers. And maybe, by informing the community and the media, police can remove a predator from society so another child does not have to die!


Anonymous said...

I don't believe it was a sex offender, nor do I believe that rape had anything to do with Somer's death. That's why the police have not released cause of death. There are other reasons I think this too.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I think this crime was not a sexually motivated crime. Perhaps a Juvenille playing around with a Gun?!

Anonymous said...

I was thinking an accident with a family member. The one I think it is might put people in a rage so I'll leave it at that. Hopefully we will hear soon. Also a friend who lives close by asked an officer how much longer and he said real soon.

Anonymous said...

Aw, Jeez. The crazy folks who believe in a human lie detector are here trying to blame the mom obviously. Judging how a grieving mother behaves.

Anonymous said...

I agree with several of the posts...perhaps an angry "other" "older" child or "friend" off the street. Did the "friend" of Somer's MOM have a reliable alibi...and why did HE not call the mom when the child didn't show up...why did it all "open" up when the MOM called home to check on the child...and if it had a connection somehow to the "bathroom" area at the park..and the older child was "playing in the park" when she picked him up to go "help look" for his sister...if she was murdered and screamed and yelled wouldn't SOMEBODY have heard something? Wouldn't even a headstrong child have known to run like H from a STRANGER????? OR was she drawn in because she KNEW the person well...??? Law enforcement seems to move slower when they are honing in on family or close friends...does this appear to be the same to y'all? I do not think it was a stranger at all...going to be a shock. And why also, does everyone start toward this and start crying "accident" may not have been an accident at all. Our kids have gotten so violent.

Anonymous said...

I have often thought many bodies get dumped. Why can't we have a sensor in trucks that detect human decomposition.
That a big reward it does make you wonder? Has a profiler looked at this case?

Karen of Bethany said...

I would like to post about "The Community". A community is comprised of individuals. It is difficult to believe that not one individual heard or saw anything. It is also incredible to me, that inasmuch as this is still an open investigation (with LE being so secretive to the public), another fundraiser is scheduled. When I saw the publicity photos, I was outraged. The name SOMER THOMPSON with a logo of an empty tire swing...merchandising for coffee mugs, cell phone covers, etc...a new c.d. from the featured band forthcoming. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised and distributed to unknown places in the name of this dead child. What is The Somer Thompson Foundation, and what community or charitable purpose does it support?

While there is a lynch mob mentality toward the pornographers suddenly found 5 months into the investigation, let us not forget that the sheriff publicly and very swiftly ruled out RSO's in the investigation, the cause and manner of death have not been revealed to the mother and the sheriff has not ruled out ANY possible suspects, including anyone in the family. There have been no t.v. appearances concurrent with this new "bombshell" information, where formerly the amount of media coverage was unprecedented.

I recall Diena Thompson saying that the reason she kept appearing on t.v. was to "keep Somer's name out there...and...get justice for Somer..."
and I can only conclude that justice will not be served by selling merchandise which features a poignant reminder that this little girl, who suffered and died at the hands of a "monster" who is apparently "still out there", will never swing gaily again.