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Friday, October 30, 2009

Solving the Somer Thompson Murder: Investigators Leaning on Community

Right: Sommer Thompson
Oct. 29, 2009

Sheriff Says Killer May Have Scratches, Unnatural Interest in the case.

As police continue their desperate search for the person that killed 7-year-old Somer Thompson experts say that even the most random memory from the day she disappeared may lead to her murderer.

"I'm a strong believer that the community is an incredibly underrated and important resource for solving crimes, especially when the crimes are fresh," forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Welner told "Good Morning America" today. "You get the public mobilized to say ... 'What do you remember?'" ...

"We're referring to people associated with the offender in this case," Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said. They likely don't realize they are associated with the killer, he said.

"Clearly there is a distinction between the pedophiles you see and the pedophiles you don't," Welner said. "The pedophiles you see may violate the children again and again and again. And the pedophiles you don't see violate and destroy."

...The sheriff urged people to alert detectives if they notice certain changes in people's behavior, like "an unnatural interest" in the girl's case, or hiding their vehicle in a shed or giving it away.
"You will recognize the change and even question them about it but not realize it is associated" with the Somer Thompson case, Beseler said.

Beseler said telltale signs of someone who could have been involved with Somer's murder would be a combination of several behaviorial changes, including:
1. Leaving the area unexpectedly.
2. Having missed work or other routine engagements, especially on Oct. 19, the day Somer disappeared.
3. Unexplained injuries such as cuts or bruises on the head, arms and hands.

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