Misty Croslin

This is just a collection of a FEW of the articles I’ve found lately giving us a picture of Misty Croslin.
Judge for yourselves.
 October 21
Misty Cummings and two friends were robbed Monday night after allegedly trying to make a drug deal. According to a report by WJXT-TV, one of the young women, 18-year-old Brandy Steedley, said the three women went to Ragsdale Apartment Complex in Palatka, Florida, “so that one of the girls in the car could make contact with a friend.”
One of the other women, however, told a different story. Melinda Santmyer, 22, said that the three of them were at the apartment complex “attempting to buy drugs.”
According to the report, two or three men approached Misty and Melinda when they were headed back to the car after they “got out of the car to look for an unidentified man the women gave money to for drugs.” It was reported that the men grabbed Misty and took her purse and grabbed Melinda’s purse as well.
Misty was able to break free and get back to the vehicle. Once back in the car, Misty, along with Brandy drove off while Melinda ran away on foot. Misty suffered minor injuries.
Misty and Haleigh’s dad, Ronald, were divorced just days ago.

October 8 
Misty Cummings, the stepmother of missing Satsuma, Fla. girl, HaLeigh Cummings, no longer has legal representation. Shortly after he appearance on CBS’ ‘Early Show’ on Friday, her attorney said he will no longer represent her.
Putnam County lawyer, Robert Fields said he “wishes her well” and feels he has “navigated her through the most difficult parts of this matter,” according to First Coast News.
First Coast reports that Fields advised Misty to decline the national interview on Friday. During the show, Misty hinted that her husband’s family may be involved in HaLeigh’s disappearance. Shortly after the show, Fields made the announcement he would no longer represent Misty.
When HaLeigh went missing in February, her father, Ronald Cummings was at work, while Misty was at home with the girl and her younger brother. Misty claims she awoke in the middle of the night and HaLeigh was gone.
On Tuesday, Ronald appeared on HLN’s Nancy Grace show and announced he was divorcing Misty.

Also on October 8:
Misty Cummings, the stepmother of missing girl, HaLeigh Cummings, was stopped on Interstate 4 on Wednesday after a motorist complained the women threatened her with a weapon.
A Massachusetts woman, Courtney Ballinger, 25, called 911 saying she was being threatened by two women in a blue Dodge Caliber. The incident occurred in Seminole County at the end of Lake Mary Boulevard.
Ballinger said she thought the driver had waved a gun at her and that both women were making obscene gestures. She also told the 911 dispatcher that the women threatened to beat her up.
“They’re waving something around and I don’t know what it is, but I don’t want to find out,” Ballinger said.
The Orlando Sentinel reports the incident began at Maitland Blvd. when the women pulled up next to Ballinger and began yelling and making hand gestures.
According to authorities, Ballinger was shaken and extremely scared. “These people are like seriously scaring me big time, and I don’t get scared easily,” she said.
According to the Sentinel, a deputy arrived on the scene and handcuffed the driver of the vehicle, Donna Brock, 43, of Georgia. Misty, 17, was a passenger in the Dodge and was also handcuffed. The car was searched, but no gun was found and the two women were subsequently released.
Tuesday night, HaLeigh’s father and Misty’s husband, Ronald Cummings, appeared on HLN’s Nancy Grace and said he was divorcing his wife. To see video of his interview with Grace, click here.
Misty claims to have been the last person to see HaLeigh, however, authorities have publicly stated there are holes in her story about the night the little girl disappeared.

August 26
From the beginning, there have been rumors and speculation surrounding Misty [Croslin] Cummings’ account of the night little HaLeigh Cummings disappeared over six months ago. On Wednesday, reports indicate that Misty failed three recent tests related to the search for the missing six-year-old girl.According to Misty, the night HaLeigh disappeared, she was at home with the girl and her younger brother while their father, Ronald Cummings was at work. At the time, Misty was Cummings’ girlfriend, but the two wed in March.Misty claims she went to sleep and later got up to use the bathroom. She then noticed the kitchen light was on, the back door propped open by a brick, and discovered HaLeigh was gone.Some speculate that Misty left the children alone the night HaLeigh went missing, although Misty disputes that allegation and has publicly stated “I was there the whole night.”Only two weeks ago, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office stated that Misty’s account of the night HaLeigh went missing is “sketchy” and that she “continues to hold important answers.”
Tim Miller said the family contacted him for help in the case, and Misty told him she wanted to clear her name. She asked about hypnosis, voice analysis, and another polygraph test.Although Miller said Misty’s attorney advised her not to take the tests, Misty agreed to undergo each of the examinations, and according to Miller, “failed miserably” when it came to the polygraph test and “did not cooperate” with the hypnosis.Tim Fields, Misty’s attorney, told First Coast that he believes Misty was pressured into taking the tests.First Coast attempted to speak with HaLeigh’s father and Misty’s husband, Ronald, but he told the them he had nothing to say.Misty had undergone a polygraph test at the beginning of the investigation, and officials were surprised to learn she put herself through another round of questioning voluntarily. Investigators have interviewed Misty a number of times and continue to say her story is inconsistent.

Polygraph of August 19:
Misty Cummings, the stepmother of missing Fla. girl HaLeigh Cummings was given a polygraph test on Aug. 19 regarding the little girl’s disappearance.Tim Miller of Equusearch arranged a polygraph test, a voice analysis examination, and a hypnosis session at Misty’s insistence because she claimed she wanted to clear her name. Miller said on Wednesday that Misty failed all three tests.
Miller said Misty was asked four questions. The questions, Misty’s answers, and the amount of deception noted are below:

Question: Did you intentionally withhold any information regarding Haleigh’s disappearance?
Answer: No
Result: 99% deception

Question: Do you know what happened to Haleigh?
Answer: No
Result: 99% deception

Question: Do you know where Haleigh is now?
Answer: No
Result: 95% Deception

Question: Do you know who took Haleigh?
Answer: No
Result: 42% deception

According to Miller, who was confused by the last question and the amount of deception of 42%, a polygraph expert explained that result could mean there were multiple people involved, and that something may have happened inside the house preventing Misty from knowing who actually abducted HaLeigh.

Miller also said that Misty cried after obtaining the results of the test, and then stormed out of the room. After speaking to her, she then requested hypnosis and voice analysis examinations.

October 12 
Stepmother Claims Innocence, Says Divorce with Ronald Cummings Because of Pressure, and “Other Side of the Family” Has Missing Haleigh Cummings
Misty Croslin-Cummings, stepmother of missing Haleigh Cummings, appeared on CBS “The Early Show” and announced that she was divorcing Ronald Cummings after only seven months of marriage. But Misty Croslin-Cummings did not stop with a few answers
on the missing person investigation into the Haleigh Cummings’ disappearance and her impending divorce.
Speaking with “The Early Show’s” Maggie Rodriguez, the 17-year-old also pointed a finger of accusation at her soon-to-be ex-husband’s family. Misty Croslin-Cummings told “The Early Show” that: “Someone came in and got her, obviously. I feel like it’s on the other side of the family that has her.” When Maggie Rodriguez brought up the divorce, news of which had come via Ronald Cummings’ announcement on HLN’s “Nancy Grace” earlier in the week, Misty Croslin-Cummings said that the break-up was due to all the pressure the couple has been under since Haleigh Cummings went missing. She added that it had nothing to do with her story of the disappearance.
And it is that story — or, rather, stories — that puts Misty Croslin-Cummings at the center of the Haleigh Cummings drama. That, and the fact that she was the last person known to have seen Haleigh Cummings before she went missing.
The search for 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings began in the early morning hours of February 10, after Ronald Cummings returned home from work and called 911. Misty Croslin, his then live-in babysitter, told Ronald Cummings and the authorities that she had awakened at around 3 a.m. and noticed that the back door, which was always kept locked, had been propped open. She subsequently discovered that little Haleigh was missing. Misty Croslin said that the last time she had seen Haleigh was when she herself had went to bed in the same room at 10 p.m. the previous night.

September 24
Kristina Prevatt, an inmate who has been associated with Haleigh Cummings’ stepmother, Misty Cummings, wrote a letter to her boyfriend claiming a man told authorities that the missing girl died of a drug overdose.
Florida Today News reports the letter alleges a man named Joe told law enforcement that Misty, Prevatt, and a man named Greg were out partying when Haleigh got into some drugs, ingested them, and died. According to the letter, Joe told authorities Haleigh’s body was placed in a bag, which was put in Prevatt’s car and driven to a pond.
Last week, Putnam County authorities drained a pond south of Palatka, Fla., but reportedly found no evidence related to Haleigh’s disappearance.
 

Parents tell reporters that their little girl was almost abducted 2 weeks before Somer was: Why wasn’t an alert put out?

Now, I wish that somebody could tell me what is wrong with this picture. There seems to be even MORE of a rash of little children being abducted, going missing, being found murdered in the last 2 years than anytime in recent memory. Of course, it may not be that that is actually the case, it may just be that we are seeing more news coverage of it now. Why I dont understand. But- in this case, it just stands out to me- that obviously people still aren’t getting the warning signs- and taking them seriously. This story speaks that louder than words. Read below:
The parents say their child was almost abducted about two weeks before Somer Thompson disappeared. They visited Somer’s home to pay their respects and visit Diena, Somer’s mom.

The parents told reporters their 5-year-old was approached by three people in a car just a block from the vacant home on Gano Avenue being investigated.

“We were having a yard sale and she was riding her bike and she just took off,” said Kaylee’s father James Brothroyd.

Police say that’s when the girl said three people in a car tried to lure her inside.

James said the people spoke to Kaylee, saying “your mom wants us to take you home, get in the car.”

Parents James and April said a passerby scared away the car. They reported it to police, but they say a warning was never put out in the neighborhood.

“It’s outrageous to me nothing was done!” added James.

The family is all the more concerned because they live down the block from the vacant house being investigated on Gano Ave.

April, Kaylee’s mother, said “My daughter hasn’t been outside by herself. My son is 10, we used to let them be outside, we don’t do that no more.”

The Clay County Sheriff’s Department was initially looking for a blue car, but several days ago, they believed it had nothing to do with Somer’s Disappearance.

Still, the parents say if an alert had been put out a few weeks ago, maybe parents here would have been more vigilant and Somer would still be safe at home.

Somer disappeared on her walk home from school on a Monday afternoon. Detectives scoured a Georgia landfill and found a child’s remains.

At a Thursday morning news conference, authorities confirmed that the remains found were that of the missing 7-year-old.

Mathias West Virginia Family Believed to have been dead Before Fire Started

MATHIAS, W.Va. (AP) ― Three people have been found dead in a house fire that authorities are calling suspicious.

Hardy County deputies identified the victims as 34-year-old Dennis Taylor, his wife, 38-year-old Alaina Taylor, and her 5-year-old daughter, Kaylee Grace Whetzel.

Dennis Taylor was a firefighter in Rockingham County, Va.

Firefighters from the Mathias-Baker Volunteer Fire Company responded to the blaze at the home about 10:45 p.m. Friday.

After the fire was put out, emergency personnel found the three bodies inside the home. They were sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Charleston for autopsies.

Investigators say three people found dead in a Hardy County fire Friday night were shot to death first.

Police and the state Fire Marshal’s Office say the fire was set at the house in the community of Mathias in an attempt to cover-up the murders of Dennis “Chip” Taylor 34, Alaina Taylor, 38 and Alaina’s five year old daughter, Kaylee Grace Whetzel.

“It’s a set fire,” Assistant State Fire Marshal Patrick Barker told MetroNews. Samples have been sent to a lab for further examination.

Police in Rockingham County, Virginia arrested Nakia Heath Keller, 34 and Lorie Ann Taylor, 34, Tuesday morning and charged them with the crimes.

Investigators say Lorie Ann Taylor is the ex-wife of Chip Taylor and the two had been in a heated custody battle over their three children, who were not present at the fire.

Keller and Taylor are awaiting extradition to West Virginia.

The Hardy County Sheriff’s Dept. and West Virginia State Police are leading the investigation.
————————

Virginia couple arrested in Hardy County homicide case
From Staff Reports
Cumberland Times-News

MATHIAS, W.Va. — A Virginia couple were arrested Tuesday in connection with the Friday night fire that claimed the lives of three members of a Mathias family.

Autopsies by the West Virginia State Medical Examiner’s Office ruled all three deaths as homicides.

Police said all three victims had been shot at least one time.

The bodies of Dennis “Chip” Taylor, 34; Alaina Taylor, 38, and Taylor’s 5-year-old daughter, Kaylee Grace Whetzel, were recovered from the residence following the 10:45 p.m. fire.

The fire was ruled as arson and was believed to have been used to conceal the bodies, according to the Hardy County Sheriff’s Office.

Nakia Heath Keller, 34, and Lorie Ann Taylor, 34, both of Folks Run, were taken into custody based on warrants obtained by the sheriff’s office after search warrants were executed by investigators in Hardy County and Rockingham County, Va.

Police said Lori Taylor is the ex-wife of Chip Taylor and that the two had recently divorced and had been in a heated custody battle over the couple’s three children. Those children were not present at the time of the fire.

Lori Taylor now resides with and is reported to have recently married Nakia Keller, police said.

The investigation is continuing by Hardy, Rockingham and Loudon county sheriff’s offices, West Virginia State Police and West Virginia Fire Marshal’s Office.

Police said Keller and Taylor remained in custody Tuesday on fugitive from justice warrants at the Rockingham-Harrisonburg Regional Jail awaiting extradition to West Virginia.

The Hardy County Magistrate’s Office declined to provide information concerning the charges in the warrants since the office had not received official verification that the warrants had been served.

Morgan Harrington Missing

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS/AP) Police searched Tuesday for a Virginia Tech student, Morgan Dana Harrington, who hasn’t been seen since she got separated from friends at a Metallica concert Saturday.

Reporting Contributed by CBS Affiliate Newsplex.com

Harrington, 20, was last seen near the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va., about 150 miles from the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg.

Her parents said they talk to her every day and her disappearance is very out of character.

“Morgan is a pretty transparent kid, who’s had a really close relationship with us,” her father, Dan Harrington, said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I don’t think there are lots of secrets, so this kind of behavior of (her) missing is not something I think we would expect.”

Dan Harrington, who lives in Roanoke, Va., said his daughter had asked him to help her study for a math test and go through the class schedule for next semester on Sunday. He called her friends around 12:30 p.m. when he realized he had not heard from her.

Police said Morgan Harrington, a junior majoring in education, was wearing a black T-shirt with “Pantera” across the front in tan letters, a black mini skirt, black tights and black knee-high boots. She was last seen at 8:40 pm on Saturday, Oct. 17.

She has long blonde hair and blue eyes, is 5-foot-6 and weighs about 120 pounds. She was not carrying an identification card or cell phone.

Investigators are treating the disappearance as a missing person case, said Virginia State Police Lt. Joe Rader.

“We have no evidence that a crime has been committed,” he said.

Anyone with video or pictures from the Saturday night concert is asked to contact Virginia State Police at (434) 352-3435 or UVA police at (434) 924-7166.

Morgan Dana Harrington- Please help police solve her case and bring her murderer to Justice


In memory of Morgan Dana Harrington:

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The search for Morgan Harrington made headlines all over the United States. Even though they hoped for the best, Morgan’s friends and family probably knew in their hearts how dire the situation was.  On Sunday, October 18, 2009, after police had been provided with a picture, and information that Morgan had been missing for hours, Morgan’s parents went into action.
“Morgan’s a great kid,” said her father. “And this is very atypical behavior and she’s a wonderful person”
The reward was up to $150,000.00 with $50,000 of that being put up by the band that Morgan had gone to see, Metallica.
In early November a search was organized, but turned up no new leads.
There were unfounded reports all over the internet about Morgan’s activities that night. All the while, her parents stood strongly behind her.
Then less than two weeks later, a report that human remains have been found. Police feel confident they belong to Morgan Harrington.
Dan and Gil Harrington, though saddened, are relieved to finally have found their daughter.
Our prayers go out to them and the rest of Morgan’s family and friends.
2-4-1 Morgan.

The case as of 1-29-2010:

Skeletal remains found on a remote farm are those of a Virginia Tech student who disappeared after attending a Metallica concert in Charlottesville, state police said Wednesday.

Virginia’s chief medical examiner used Morgan Harrington’s dental records to make the confirmation, state police said in a statement. The cause and time of Harrington’s death have not been determined, said investigators, who have shifted to a homicide investigation.

Harrington, 20, disappeared Oct. 17 after attending the concert. A farmer inspecting his fields found her remains Tuesday about 10 miles from the auditorium.

Her father, Dan Harrington, said in a statement: “Morgan’s mother, Gil, and I are overwhelmingly saddened by yesterday’s discovery, but we are also relieved because our questions can now be answered and we can give our daughter a proper burial.”

At a brief news conference in Charlottesville, Dan Harrington said the location of the remains convinced him that someone local was linked to his daughter’s death. The remains were found on an isolated, 700-acre cattle farm about 10 miles outside of Charlottesville.

The Harringtons met with reporters at the Copley Road Bridge, where investigators have said witnesses last placed Morgan Harrington.
The best way to access the location where missing Virginia Tech student Morgan D. Harrington’s body was found is across a neighboring property, according to the Albemarle County farmer who found her remains.
“A lot of my neighbors who are outdoors people have said to me that they think the most logical entrance is from Blandemar Farm subdivision,” Dave Bass said.
The area, Blandemar Farm Estates, is a collection of large homes on cul-de-sacs, surrounded by vast expanses of clipped grass.
Bass said he saw police drive a car across that grass and through a neighbor’s hayfield to access a fence line near where the body was found on his farm. The farm is west of U.S. 29, near its intersection with Red Hill Road, about 5.5 miles south of Interstate 64.
“The easiest way by public road, even in a car, not an SUV or pickup or tractor, would be what I just described,” he said. “There is a barbed wire fence, but you couldn’t get to that place without crossing creeks or barbed wire fences.”
Harrington, 20, went missing after she left a Metallica concert held at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena on Oct. 17. Bass discovered her remains Tuesday.
Bass, who lives on the farm with his wife and daughter, said they don’t get many trespassers, and it likely would have been difficult to sneak past the two homes — his and his daughter’s — on the road into his farm.
“It would be difficult for someone to pass either home without being noticed, but, you know, I’m not different than you. I don’t sit at the window all day looking for trespassers,” he said.
Anyone who did draw notice would be in a bind because of the long drive back out, he said. He didn’t see anything the night Harrington went missing, he said.
There is some illegal spotlighting of deer near the Hardware River, he said.
Relatively few people come onto the farm, he said.
“I don’t have any employees,” he said. “I do the farm myself, and … you know, we have the normal people that would come on any residential property to fix your air conditioning or your heating or your plumbing,” he said.
He said four hunters have permission to hunt the farm, and their names have been given to police.
He has also spoken at length with investigators, he said.
“I’ve spent a lot of time talking with them,” he said. “I don’t know if it helped them much. I tried.”
The area where the body was discovered was initially reported by police to be a hayfield. It was, in fact, a pasture with particularly tall grass, Bass said.
“It’s a creek bottom, and the grass grows real well, even though I bushhog it,” he said.
He added, “The only reason I think I saw it was the heavy deep snow.”
By the time the more than 20 inches of snow the region received in December melted, it had matted down tall grass all across the region.
In the particular pasture where Harrington was found, the grass had been at least knee-high, Bass said. He saw the remains because he was on a tractor, several feet off the ground, he said.
Bass initially thought the body was a deer, but when he saw what appeared to be a human skull, along with fingers and toes, he knew he had to call police, he said.
Virginia State Police still have no suspects, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.
A rumor that circulated midday Thursday that police had made an arrest was unfounded, she said.
They’re also waiting on the medical examiner’s office for cause and time of death, she said.
Geller confirmed that police had finished examining the area where the remains were found by midday.
“Now that we’ve finished that part of the collection process at the scene, … we move into the analysis stage,” she said.
Bass praised the work he has seen police do.
“They’re very professional in my opinion, and I think they’ve done a fine job out here in terms of finding whatever they could and eliminating other alternatives, so I give them credit,” Bass said. “Now they’ve got to analyze what they’ve come up with from the medical examiner and from the site work, and hopefully for all of our sakes find some answers.”
Geller said police are examining a host of theories about what they presume is a homicide.
“Everything is open to consideration at this point,” she said.
Virginia State Police are still looking for tips at 352-3467.

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Justice for Somer Thompson: Predator May Have Killed Before

Somer vanished on her mile-long walk home from school Monday in Orange Park, near Jacksonville. The 4-foot-5 tyke had her hair in a ponytail and was wearing a purple Hannah Montana backpack and carrying a lunchbox at the time.

She had been walking with her two siblings, including a twin brother, and friend when she got into an argument with another child. Somer walked ahead of the group and was never seen again.

Helicopters, bloodhounds, and more than 100 Clay County deputies and law enforcement personnel from neighboring counties were searching Monday and Tuesday in Orange Park for Somer.

Orange Park is a small suburb of Jacksonville.

The FBI has also assigned a member to assist Clay County, along with staff from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, according to CBS affiliate News3Jax.

The second-grader is white, 3-foot-5 and 65 pounds. She had brown hair tied in a pony tail with a red bow and was carrying a purple Hannah Montana backpack and lunch box.

Somer was last seen about 2:45 p.m. Monday heading home from Grove Park Elementary School. She was walking with her sister and some friends, but ran ahead of them.

‘America’s Most Wanted’ Host John Walsh Said Florida Community Has Reason to Be Fearful.
The person who killed 7-year-old Somer Thompson may have preyed on children before, making the search for the second-grader’s slayer that much more urgent, police said.
Clay County authorities said they are running frustratingly low on credible leads despite receiving more than 1,000 tips about Somer’s kidnapping and murder. But “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh said county Sheriff Rick Beseler is “looking very hard at certain people.

“The sheriff and I both feel that it’s a predator who has probably done it before,” Walsh, who has been following Somer’s case since she disappeared last week, told “Good Morning America” today.

He pointed to a string of four child disappearances in the Jacksonville area about 20 years ago that have never been solved.

“I would hate to think this is a serial child killer who has raised it’s ugly head,” Walsh said, noting that it’s not unusual for such a predator to come out of “retirement.”

Somer disappeared Oct. 19 while walking home from school with her twin brother and older sister, 10. She ran ahead after a squabble with her siblings and vanished shortly after.

Somer’s body was found Wednesday in a Georgia landfill after detectives followed garbage trucks from Somer’s Orange Park, Fla., hometown in search of clues.

A public visitation will be held tonight; her funeral is Tuesday.

Police say they’ve checked out nearly all the more than 90 sex offenders living within a three-mile radius of Somer’s home and repeated searches of a vacant house near where the little girl disappeared have not yet yielded any obvious clues.

Police are hoping that samples taken from the house and the landfill where Somer’s body was found will give investigators something to go on.

“All I want is to happen is that my baby didn’t die in vain and we catch him,” Somer’s mother, Diena Thompson, said.

Walsh called Somer’s killer a “cool, calculating predator” who may strike again.

“People should be on high alert there because there is a child killer at large,” he said.
Somer’s Mother to Killer: ‘We’re Coming for You’

Indeed, neighborhood parents, many of who attended fund-raisers over the weekend for the Thompson family, are on edge, keeping a close eye on their children.

“When is this going to stop,” area resident Lou Ellen McGill said. “When are they going to leave our kids alone?”

Even at the fund-raiser — were several children were fingerprinted as a precaution — parents looked around nervously, wondering if Somer’s killer could be among them.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he was here, that’s how I really feel about it,” Amy Hand said.

Thompson told “Good Morning America” last week that she wanted her daughter’s killer to know one thing: “We’re coming for you.

“We’ll get you,” she said. “And, hopefully, justice will be served.”

A preliminary autopsy has been completed, but Clay County Sheriff spokeswoman Mary Justino declined to provide details on the cause of death or the condition of the body.

Thompson said last week that she has been wracked by feelings of guilt and responsibility for being at work when her youngest daughter disappeared.

“I feel responsible,” she said. ” If I could have just, I don’t know, left work or something and been able to pick her up, this wouldn’t have happened.”

And her surviving children are also struggling. Thompson said she’s afraid to let them out of her sight, lest it happen again. They will be getting counseling after Somer’s funeral, she said.

“They go through spurts, you know, they’re kids,” she said. “One minute they’re happy, and the next minute they’re sad.”

A group called Justice Coalition has put up a $30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Somer’s killer. Some of that reward money came from Crimestoppers, which urged anyone with information to call 866-845-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.

Clay County police asked tipsters to call 877-227-6911.

 

The disturbing case of Somer Thompson

\The search for a 7-year-old Florida girl appears to have ended in tragedy with the discovery of her body in a Georgia landfill.

Authorities tentatively identified the body Thursday as that of Somer Thompson, based on clothing and a birthmark. Somer had been missing since Monday.

“I’m still holding out hope this is not Somer,” Somer’s aunt, Laura Holt, told the Associated Press Wednesday night, her voice cracking.

“I don’t think they deserve to live,” Holt said. “I don’t think there’s anything worse that a person can do – to kill a child and dump her in the dump like a piece of trash?”

Investigators followed garbage trucks from the neighborhood where Somer disappeared to a landfill in Folkston, Ga.,near the Florida border. They searched through 100 tons of refuse before finding the body, Beseler said.

An FBI forensic unit is helping process evidence from the landfill, about 48 miles from where the girl disappeared.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation planned an autopsy Thursday.

Holt said family members were going through an agonizing wait for autopsy results.

Beseler declined to discuss what evidence police have recovered or whether investigators believe the crime was committed by one or more people.

He said police have questioned more than 70 registered sex offenders in the area. Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show 161 offenders live in a 5-mile radius of Somer’s home.

“I fear for our community until we bring this person in,” Beseler said of the killer. “This is a heinous crime…and we’re going to work as hard as we can to make this community safe.”

Somer disappeared on her mile-long walk home from school in Orange Park, Fla.

Angry that her sister told her to stop arguing with a playmate, she ran ahead of the group and was never seen again. Her disappearance triggered a countywide search involving helicopters, dogs and volunteers walking arm-to-arm through wooded areas.

Before the grim discovery, Somer’s father, Sam Thompson, of Graham, N.C., pleaded for her safe return.

“Somer, your daddy Sam loves you unconditionally. Stay strong and don’t give up the fight or the hope that we’re going to be a family again. I love you,” he said.

Thompson was staying at an undisclosed family member’s home to get avoid the crowd of about 150 people gathered across the street from mother Diena Thompson’s home, some crying and others clutching their children tightly.

Mourners placed flowers under a tree in a makeshift memorial to the little girl.

“We are all devastated,” said Tonya Jennings, 61, a grandmother who lives three doors away. “I knew her.” Jennings was with her two granddaughters, Nina Guitierez, 9, and Aria Michaels, 8, who attend Grove Park Elementary School with Somer.

“We will need to be more vigilant. There are pedophiles everywhere in the area,” Jennings said.

John Latavia, 43, said his children attended school with Somer.

“All we can do is pray and come together,” he said.

Orange Park is a suburb of Jacksonville just south of Jacksonville Naval Air Station. The area where the girl disappeared is a heavily populated residential area with homes, apartment complexes and condominiums.

 
Somer Thompson’s mother making a
desperate appeal for her daughter’s
safe return Weds.
Source for the following information was the
‘blinkoncrime’ blog:
 
 
 

Orange Park, FL– As developments unfold in the investigation of the murder of 7 year old Somer Thompson, a new twist:

4 Men Arrested For Robbery with Firearms

The defendent Montrail Howard, received a “Jaywalking” infraction on October 14. On October 20, that infraction turned into a citation for unknown reasons and the following day all four were arrested for armed robbery at the 1706 Horton Drive address of Somer Thompson and her family.

All 4 inmates remain in custody at the Clay county jail without bond.

It is not known at this time what relation this incident or these individuals have if any, to Somer Thompson’s abduction and murder. All suspects should be presumed innocent while awaiting due process.