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A Closer Look at How Investigators Found Somer Thompson's Body

12:06 PM, Feb 14, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The coroner listed Somer's cause of death as asphyxiation with multiple blunt force injuries.

On Wednesday, October 21, 2009, investigators noted it was 84 degrees with 41 percent humidity at the Waste Management Chesser Island Landfill in Charlton County, Georgia.  That afternoon, they made a gruesome discovery.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation documents First Coast News just obtained,  Special Agent M.J. Washington was one of the many investigators.

He saw human remains "intermingled in the debris and trash" and "partially covered with dirt, trash and wood."

Mixed in with this massive mountain of debris, those remains were later found to be those of 7-year-old Somer Thompson.

Investigators released pictures of the trash, but redacted pictures of Somer.  The report paints a disturbing picture of a little girl who was put through a living nightmare, all at the hands of the man who confessed to killing Somer, Jarred Harrell.  More than a week ago, Harrell received six life sentences for killing and kidnapping Thompson.

The trash heap also forced investigators to use extra technology to follow the evidence.  They used a GPS device to get coordinates of the body, instead of using more traditional measurements, because of the constant movement of the trash.

The words are painful for anyone to hear, but just imagine the pain for Somer's mother Diena Thompson.  

"It's been a tough road, and it's still, I'm sure, a very long road to still go on, but, you know, maybe now some resolution since we'll be getting the answers we haven't had all along, " Thompson said in an interview Friday.


First Coast News

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