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Florida Authorities Search for Girl, 7, Who Vanished After School

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Fox News: Florida officials have expanded their search for a 7-year-old girl who vanished while walking home from school Monday afternoon.

florida girl somer thompson missing

Somer Thompson was last seen about 2:45 p.m. while walking home from Grove Park Elementary school in Grove Park, in northern Florida. She was with her twin brother, her 10-year-old sister and friends when she reportedly ran ahead of them after getting into a fight. Her brother and sister said she was not at home when they arrived.

Somer's mother and boyfriend searched up and down the block for her when she didn't come home; her mother reported her missing two and half hours later.

Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said officers are investigating whether Somer's disappearance is connected to an event that happened in the area on Oct. 10, when three people unsuccessfully tried to lure a 5-year-old girl into a car.

"We want to emphasize while we're taking this into consideration, we are not focusing just on this ... we're exploring other areas and angles," Beseler said.

He said 57 sex offenders have been interviewed within a 3-mile radius, and their homes and yards have been searched. The search was expanded Tuesday to a 5-mile radius, and officials say they will interview 30 more registered sex offenders.

More than 100 Clay County deputies were searching for the second-grader on Tuesday. Beseler said the area where Somer disappeared is wooded and swampy, and they want to search the woods thoroughly before moving search units out farther. Dogs and helicopters are being used.

Thompson is white, 3 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 65 pounds. She has brown hair that was in a pony tail and was wearing a cranberry colored jumpsuit with pink stripes and a black T-shirt underneath. Her backpack is black with pink and white skulls and crossbones.

People are encouraged to call the tip line at (877) 227-6911 with any additional information on the child's whereabouts.

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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Wishing for the Best October 20, 2009, 4:13 PM

My heart goes out to this little girl, family, and friends. My thoughts and prayers for her to return home safely!!

queenbee October 21, 2009, 5:50 AM

Uh huh. And just last week.. so many were posting about how, since they don’t live in a big city, it is necessary to teach their elementary school kids independence by letting them walk to school sans adults. Sheer lunacy. So… is Grove Park a big city?
When will people learn that child molesters or those who abduct children (and most do it to molest and or kill the children) live in small towns, bergs, villages, cities, metropolises, megapolises —-in short ANYWHERE.

It simply is imprudent in this day and age to not ensure your child gets where they are supposed to be and return home safely from where they were—AND are not molested or accosted while they are “THERE” Where ever “there” might be.

to that end, knowing that both Molestation and Abduction are CRIMES OF OPPORTUNITY—Parents need to think a bit more:

1. Take your child to and from school or day care or ensure a trusted adult takes them (I always drive my own child there and back but if not I choose another MOTHER to do so. If a DAD is taking the kids, I MAKE time to take my own child)

2. NO dual gender sleepovers with DADs or “brothers” or other males over the age of 8 in the home. If I host a sleepover, my husband and my sons stay away from the home in a hotel for that night

3. No Scouts, Soccer, Karate, etc unless you are handson as the Scout leader, Den mom, assistant or Soccer or other sport coach or a very interested and cheering fan in the stands—this includes ALL practices. Let the coach know you are interested and watching —this is best done by moms since it is well known that most child molestations or killing is done by men (98%).

In short, limit those opportunities. It may not prevent some acts but it will deter most and at the very least, you as a parent will know that you did your best to protect your child and as for letting your kids go over homes to just play—I prefer public venues, though I will let my child go to homes for a play date that I know and trust the parents—often, I will hang around and chat up the parents then hours later, come back for my child.

The shame of this is,most people, somehow, think things like this only happen to “OTHER people” There is no such thing as “other people” we ALL are the “other people”

So be vigilant, a little paranoid and hopefully, be safe!!!

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