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Investigators Find Missing Girl's Body

POSTED: Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 8:06am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:58pm

After days of searching for a missing Florida girl, a grim find in a nearby landfill. A child's body, tentatively identified as 7-year-old Somer Thompson, was found a few days after the girl disappeared while walking home from school.

Somer's mother, Brooke said, "I don't know how I can repay any of you for helping me, for looking for my baby." At a candlelight vigil, Somer Thompson's mother broke down as she thanked those who gathered to comfort her, just hours after authorities found a child's body in a garbage dump some 50 miles from their florida home.

For those who searched tirelessly for the little girl since Monday, the find brought tears. While for investigators, it brought a new focus. Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said "we have gone from a search and recovery mode to a criminal investigation."

In the Georgia landfill where a child's body was found in a heap of trash brought from Somer's hometown, forensic teams are now looking closely at every piece, hoping to find a clue and promising to get justice. Mr. Beseler said "we have a suspect out there somewhere, who's watching this broadcast right now, and I don't want to tell him what we're doing. But, I will tell him this. We're coming to get him."

Somer disappeared on Monday. She was walking home from school with her sister and friends when she ran ahead of the group and was never seen by them again. And so, in the community that, for days held out hope she would be found hope now, means something different. Briann Daley, who attended the vigil, said "I just hope that she's happy and safe and with God, now." And their search is now for answers, and some way to help heal the pain.