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Somer Thompson's Killer May Have Struck Before

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ABC News: The person who killed 7-year-old Somer Thompson may have preyed on children before, making the search for the second-grader's slayer that much more urgent, police said.

somer thompson

Clay County authorities said they are running frustratingly low on credible leads despite receiving more than 1,000 tips about Somer's kidnapping and murder. But "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh said county Sheriff Rick Beseler is "looking very hard at certain people.

"The sheriff and I both feel that it's a predator who has probably done it before," Walsh, who has been following Somer's case since she disappeared last week, told "Good Morning America" today.

He pointed to a string of four child disappearances in the Jacksonville area about 20 years ago that have never been solved.

"I would hate to think this is a serial child killer who has raised it's ugly head," Walsh said, noting that it's not unusual for such a predator to come out of "retirement."

Somer disappeared Oct. 19 while walking home from school with her twin brother and older sister, 10. She ran ahead after a squabble with her siblings and vanished shortly after.

Somer's body was found Wednesday in a Georgia landfill after detectives followed garbage trucks from Somer's Orange Park, Fla., hometown in search of clues.

A public visitation will be held tonight; her funeral is Tuesday.

Police say they've checked out nearly all the more than 90 sex offenders living within a three-mile radius of Somer's home and repeated searches of a vacant house near where the little girl disappeared have not yet yielded any obvious clues.

Police are hoping that samples taken from the house and the landfill where Somer's body was found will give investigators something to go on.

"All I want is to happen is that my baby didn't die in vain and we catch him," Somer's mother, Diena Thompson, said.

Walsh called Somer's killer a "cool, calculating predator" who may strike again.

"People should be on high alert there because there is a child killer at large," he said.

Somer's Mother to Killer: 'We're Coming for You'

Indeed, neighborhood parents, many of who attended fund-raisers over the weekend for the Thompson family, are on edge, keeping a close eye on their children.

"When is this going to stop," area resident Lou Ellen McGill said. "When are they going to leave our kids alone?"

Even at the fund-raiser -- where several children were fingerprinted as a precaution -- parents looked around nervously, wondering if Somer's killer could be among them.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he was here, that's how I really feel about it," Amy Hand said.

Thompson told "Good Morning America" last week that she wanted her daughter's killer to know one thing: "We're coming for you.

"We'll get you," she said. "And, hopefully, justice will be served."

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
angela October 27, 2009, 4:26 PM

My heart goes out to this family. Especially the siblings who are going to feel guilty. This a parent’s worst nightmare. I pray that God will guide them through this hell and allow Somer to rest in peace.

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