Wednesday, November 18, 2009
PUBLIC INFORMATION ANNOUNCEMENT
Somer Thompson Case Update
Our investigation into the abduction and murder of Somer Thompson is ongoing and remains a large scale, multi-agency effort. Agents from the FBI, FDLE, U.S. Marshal Service, and NCIS remain assigned to our team locally and continue to reinforce our investigative efforts with their expertise and manpower.
We have now received 4,200 leads and detective teams continue working to follow up on all remaining workable tips. We remain hopeful that evidence being processed now at the lab will provide more streamlined direction for our investigators and will help us focus more accurately on a suspect. The processing of such evidence is time-consuming, but is very important to the long-term success of this investigation and cannot be rushed.
"Waiting on lab results is part of this process," said Sheriff Rick Beseler. "The results can take weeks to return and cannot be rushed or hurried because this is information that will point us in the right direction and tell us where to go." Sheriff Beseler commented that, with a case like this, information is unfolding slowly. He describes the case as being far from "cold". "This case is not a cold case...not by far," Beseler said. "This case remains hot with emerging leads and many pieces of evidence. Our team is very active and will remain so for weeks to come", Beseler said.
Many members of the media have inquired about how the investigative team is holding up under the prolonged strain of this case combined with their regular workload. To a man, the personnel I spoke to this week said they are exhausted but very determined. "Determined" was by far the adjective that was used most often. But sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, literally. While in the Orange Park office last week, I spotted an opportunity to take a photo that I feel demonstrates this determination. Please see the attached photo and feel free to use it if you like. It is Det. Dwayne Singletary, phones to both ears, working on the case. There is a large printed poster on the wall with Somer's photo and a caption that reads, "Remember...this is who we are working for." These posters were created internally by the investigative team and are displayed in offices and hallways as a constant reminder.
Our agency is not planning any on-camera interviews or press briefings this week. As soon as there is a development in the case that we can release, you will be notified via media release.