Community came together to remember 10 years since Somer Thompson's death

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Dozens of people are coming together 10 years later to remember Somer Thompson. 

The little girl was kidnaped, raped and suffocated by her neighbor in Orange Park. She would have been 17 years old.

Loved ones and strangers came together in support of her family at the site where she was killed on Sunday. It's an area that's since transformed into a peaceful community space called Somer's Garden.

"Some days you wake up and you feel like it just happened, i.e. yesterday," said Somer's mother, Diena Thompson. 

For many of the people who showed up in support, October 2009 is a time they will never forget.
They remember the countless search parties and endless prayers, all leading up to when Clay deputies discovered her remains.

"Everything in this case, as far as I'm concerned, was divine intervention, it was God. He was talking to these detectives, he was talking to these people who turned in their tips and their leads that caught the monster, because he wasn't caught right away. It is God and it is damn good police work," Thompson said.

The large group came together in prayer with dozens and dozens of candles lighting up Somer's Garden. 

For Thompson, the continued support is overwhelming.

"I could never really put into words what people mean to me, or what they have done and continue to do for me. I could never put that into words," said Thompson. 

About the Author:

Allyson Henning

Florida-born multi-media journalist pays special attention to issues in St. Johns County.