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Orange Park Neighborhood Changed One Year after Somer's Death

10:24 AM, Oct 20, 2010   |    comments
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ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- The lazy little neighborhood which surrounds Somer Thompson's home some say is a haven for sex offenders.

Resident Virgil McWhite knows because after the 7-year-old was murdered he began to investigate just who was living near him.

"Soon as it happened, I checked it out. I was surprised how many were in the neighborhood," said McWhite.

In October 2009, 161 sex offenders lived within 5 miles of Somer's home. One year later, the number of offenders has decreased to 145 sex offenders.

"It detoured them. It chased them away. They are somewhere else now," said McWhite.

In the Orange Park-area alone, the number of offenders has gone up by one in one year.

Somer's death changed everything in the neighborhood. Neighbors are on guard and McWhite said they are more aware.

MORE: Somer Thompson childhood slideshow

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