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More Than 1,000 Tips But No Leads in Somer Thompson Murder

(AP Photo/Phil Coale)
Photo: Diena Thompson attends a vigil for her slain daughter Somer on Oct. 22.

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Over 1,000 tips have been submitted in the murder of Somer Thompson, but police still do not know how the Florida 7-year-old ended up in a Georgia landfill after vanishing on her walk home from school last week.

PICTURES: Somer Thompson Murdered

Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are combing through tips; more than 1,150 calls from people around the U.S. have poured in regarding the Oct. 19 disappearance of the little girl from Orange Park, Fla., a Jacksonville suburb. Her body was found in a Georgia landfill three days later.

So far, no one has come forward to say they saw the girl abducted or attacked. Investigators have ruled out all who lived within a 5-mile radius of Somer's home.

The girl's mother, Diena Thompson, has praised the hard work of investigators.

"These detectives - excuse my language - are busting their (expletive) to find it. Because it's an it," Diena Thompson said Saturday, referring to the killer of her daughter as inhuman.

(family photo)
Family Photo: Somer Thompson, left.
PICTURES: Somer Thompson Murdered

When reached by The Associated Press by phone Sunday, Thompson declined an interview.

"I don't want to think about doing any news until after I bury my baby," she said.

A public viewing and funeral are planned for Monday and Tuesday, but graveside services and the burial will be private.

Dozens of mourners and supporters have held nightly vigils outside the Thompsons' home, including on Sunday. They have gathered around a huge makeshift memorial of Hannah Montana balloons, stuffed animals and candles that have burned so long that the wax has melted into the grass.

"I'm shocked that this could happen in this type of community," Somer's maternal great-grandmother, Marie Spires of New Richmond, Ohio, said Saturday. "And that no one would see or hear anything."

Diena Thompson said to the crowd gathered that she's had "an amazing outpouring of support" from the community.

"All I want to happens [sic] is that my baby didn't die in vain and that we catch him," she said.

An autopsy has been completed and investigators know how Somer died, but authorities won't disclose their findings or any details about the body.

Spires said she doesn't know how her great-granddaughter died.

(AP Photo/Phil Coale)
Photo: Crime scene investigators search a vacant house near Somer's home Friday, Oct. 23, 2009.
PICTURES: Somer Thompson Murdered

Family and friends described Somer as a friendly little girl who rode her scooter around the neighborhood.

"She never met a stranger. She was very friendly," said Robert O'Cain, a neighbor. "She was always looking for other kids to play with."

Tina Justyna said her daughter, 11, would often go to the library with Somer at school - and the pair would look at books about kittens and puppies. Her daughter is devastated that Somer is gone, she said.

"I don't let her watch the news," Justyna said. "She lost one of the few friends she had."

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PICTURES: Somer Thompson Murdered

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
October 26, 2009 - Somber Sendoff for 7-Year-Old Somer Thompson, Florida Girl Who Vanished After School
October 23, 2009 - Somer Thompson Pictures: Her Mother Vows Justice, A Community Vows Never to Forget
October 23, 2009 - In Somer Thompson Murder, Local Sex Offenders No Longer Suspects, Say Cops
October 23, 2009 - Somer Thompson's Mom to Killer: "We're Coming For You"
October 23, 2009 - How Police Found Somer Thompson and How They Hope to Catch Her Killer
October 22, 2009 - Somer Thompson Body Likely Found, Says Florida Sheriff
October 21, 2009 - Search for Missing 7-Year-Old Somer Thompson Leads to Body in Landfill
October 20, 2009 - Somer Thompson Vanished After School, Seven-Year-Old Girl Missing in Orange Park, Fla.
  • Sammy Saltzman

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