Remembering Somer 3 years after tragedy

Fall festival, vigil honoring 7-year-old held Friday night at Moosehaven

Published On: Oct 19 2012 12:53:39 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 20 2012 08:34:07 AM EDT
ORANGE PARK, Fla. -

A family and community mark a somber anniversary Friday -- three years since the abduction and killing of Somer Thompson.

Somer's mother, Diena Thompson, had made it her mission to remember her daughter’s life by working to keep pedophiles off the street. Diena said she still has a family to raise. Somer’s twin brother and older sister Abby sang at Friday night's vigil.

The candlelight vigil to honor Somer began at 5 p.m. at Moosehaven retirement community on U.S. Highway 17 in Orange Park. There were many family-friendly activities, including face painters, a balloon artist, bounce houses and players from the Jacksonville Sharks.

The festival was intended to be a celebration of Somer's life.

"Today is like being there again the day it happened, just three years later, maybe a little wiser, maybe know a little bit more about how you're going to feel. But it's literally like being back there," Somer's mom, Diena Thompson, said before the event. "Obviously, (Somer) has left a legacy that has touched so many and hopefully will save even more."

Diena received a $4,000 check for the Somer Thompson foundation.

People are also remembering the girl on the Facebook page of the Somer Thompson Foundation.

Somer's killer, Jarred Harrell, who pleaded guilty earlier this year, is serving six life sentences.