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Somer Thompson's Mom to Killer: "We're Coming For You"

(CBS)
Photo: Diena Thompson on CBS' "The Early Show."

ORANGE PARK, Fla. (CBS/AP) Diena Thompson, the mother of slain Florida girl Somer Thompson, whose body was found in a landfill, had one simple message for her daughter's killer.

PICTURES: Somer Thompson Murdered

"We're coming for you. We'll get you, and hopefully justice will be served," she said on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Diena Thompson appeared red-eyed on all three network television morning shows the day after investigators identified her 7-year-old daughter as the body they found after sorting through tons of debris at a Georgia landfill.

Somer vanished on her one-mile walk home from school Monday in a heavily populated residential area in the Jacksonville suburb of Orange Park, a suburb of Jacksonville.

Searchers combed the area before investigators, following garbage trucks that collected trash Tuesday, spotted her lifeless legs in a landfill about 50 miles away.

An autopsy to establish the cause of death is done, but authorities Thursday would not disclose their findings. At a news conference, Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler would not say if Somer had been sexually assaulted or answer other questions about the condition of the body.

Diena Thompson said she does not know any details of the investigation. She said she hopes the killer gets the death penalty.

(family photo)
Photo: Somer Thompson, left.

PICTURES: Somer Thompson Murdered

"I hate him. I hate him," she said on CBS News' "The Early Show."

"Every morning when I get up, I just get up thinking it's just all a bad dream, and you come out and you see everything that everybody's brought and you know it's real," she said.

Missing child posters featuring Somer's face, with chubby cheeks and thick brown bangs, still plaster nearly every utility pole along the mile-long route from her elementary school to her home.

Investigators on Thursday searched a vacant home a couple of blocks into Somer's daily route, just past a wooded area and across the street from a playground and baseball diamonds.

"It's crazy to think something like this could happen here," said neighbor Andrew Carlson, 17, as he watched officers in protective white suits go in and out of the empty house and comb through a construction trash bin outside.

Construction crews had been working on the house, which was damaged in a fire several months ago, he said.

Authorities say Somer squabbled with another child Monday and then walked ahead of the group of kids and was never seen again.

So far, the police have not made an arrest but have questioned more than 155 registered sex offenders in the area. State online records show 88 sex offenders live in Orange Park, a suburb of about 9,000 people just south of Jacksonville Naval Air Station.
Video: CBS News' The Early Show spoke with Diena Thompson.

The girl disappeared in a heavily populated residential area about a mile from a stretch of fast-food restaurants and other businesses. Investigators will presumably try to pinpoint the trash bin or garbage can where she was dumped, based on the trash around her and the truck's pickup route.

"I fear for our community until we bring this person in. This is a heinous crime that's been committed," Beseler said. "And we're going to work as hard as we can to make this community safe."

PICTURES: Somer Thompson Murdered

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
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.

  • Edecio Martinez

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