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Somer's Murder Spurs Neighborhood Watch Group

3:03 AM, Dec 4, 2009   |    comments
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ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Residents in the neighborhood of a 7-year old girl who was murdered are taking steps towards getting to know every face in their neighborhood.

Many ask themselves, "Could Somer's killer be among us?"

Six weeks ago, the 7-year old strayed from her siblings while walking home from school in Orange Park. Days later, her body was found in a Georgia landfill. 

The Clay County Sheriff's Department has not said how she was killed and have not named a suspect.  

Neighbors have been on edge since, and are now creating a watch program.

"We were not really aware (of safety) until we had such a tragic event in our neighborhood," said neighbor Jennifer Leonard.

Leonard was one of about 25 neighbors who are starting the Grove Park Civic Association Neighborhood Watch Program.

"We have to make sure our parents can make our kids feel safe," said organizer Joe Madison.

Some neighbors told First Coast News Reporter Monica Landeros that the area has changed.

"Now, you are worried about steps behind you when you are walking at night because you don't know. You don't feel that safety," said neighbor George Younis.

Madison said the program won't fix all the problems, but it's a good start.

With the killer still at large, neighbors said they need to watch out for each other.

"We want to get this going, we want to know who people are," said Younis.

The group plans to meet every month. In the meantime, some members plan to knock on doors and shake hands with neighbors.

Anyone with information about Somer's murder is asked to call the tipline at 1-877-227-6911.

There's a $64,000 reward for information leading to arrest.



First Coast News

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