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Somber Sendoff for 7-Year-Old Somer Thompson, Florida Girl Who Vanished After School

(family photo)
Family Photo: Somer Thompson, right.

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) A northern Florida community is preparing to say its goodbyes to 7-year-old Somer Thompson, whose body was found in a landfill in south Georgia two days after she vanished on her way home from school.

PICTURES: Somer Thompson Murdered

A viewing for the child, who lived in the Jacksonville suburb of Orange Park, Fla. is planned for Monday night, followed by a Tuesday morning funeral. Afterwards, mourners plan to launch thousands of purple balloons.

Purple was apparently Somer Thompson's favorite color.

She will be laid to rest in a private burial and graveside service later Tuesday.

Authorities have investigated some 1,200 leads in the hunt for the child's killer but have not named a suspect. Her body was found in a Georgia landfill about 50 miles from home, after she disappeared on Monday, Oct. 19. Investigators followed sanitation trucks from her north Florida neighborhood, which they say enabled them to locate Somer Thompson's body.

Sunday, at a fundraiser for the family, children played in an inflatable bounce-house, while the adults watching carefully nearby vowed to find the girl's killer.

Somer Thompson's name and photo were everywhere at the carnival-like fundraiser, which was held in a tree-lined park in the Orange Park town center. A silent raffle, a bake sale and even glittery makeovers for little girls were offered, all in an effort to raise enough money so Somer's mother doesn't have to go back to work immediately.

PICTURES: Somer Thompson Murdered

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
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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