Local News

Graham man awaits return of missing daughter

Posted October 20, 2009
Updated October 21, 2009

Amber Alert

— A daylong search for a missing 7-year-old Florida girl who vanished on her way home from school Monday has produced more than 150 leads, but the child remained missing Tuesday and officials said they suspect foul play.

More than 100 Clay County, Fla., deputies, law enforcement officers from neighboring counties and the FBI scoured a residential Orange Park neighborhood looking for Somer Thompson.

"I can't describe how that feels. It feels like somebody just took the life out of you," said Sam Thompson, Somer's father.

Sam Thompson, an Iraq War veteran, lives in Graham, North Carolina. He is recuperating from an accident that left him in a wheelchair.

“For anybody who has taken my daughter, I would just beg them and plead to their sense of humanity that they would let my daughter come home,” he said.

Horses, dogs, divers and helicopters have been used in the search for the missing girl, which began Monday afternoon when she failed to return home from school.

Officials have no idea what happened to her.

The second-grader is white, 3 foot 5 inches tall and weighs 65 pounds. She had brown hair tied in a pony tail with a red bow and was carrying a purple Hannah Montana backpack and lunch box.

The Amber Alert was issued at 9 a.m. Tuesday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The alert was not immediately issued for Somer because her disappearance wasn't witnessed and there was no description of a vehicle.

Law officers are working 12-hour shifts so they can search for the girl around the clock.


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  • Professor Oct 21, 2009

    My heart goes out to this loving and caring father. May his daughter be found very soon. Time is everything.

  • Adelinthe Oct 21, 2009

    Diehard - "I don't understand why it took so long for them to get the Amber Alert out. It shouldn't matter if no one saw her getting taken. If a child is missing, the Amber Alert should go out right away!"


    If there had been a big shiny balloon involved, they'd have been on it right away.

    Sending prayers for this little angel and for all of her loved ones.

    Praying for God to touch the heart of her abductor to just drop her off at a hospital or library and let her go unharmed.

    God bless.


  • MileageWarrior Oct 21, 2009

    fedup: this girl wasnt walking home alone. she was walking with her twin brother, 10 year old sister, and classmates in a group. she was being teased and decided to run off ahead of the group.

  • Space Mountain Oct 21, 2009

    I don't understand why it took so long for them to get the Amber Alert out. It shouldn't matter if no one saw her getting taken. If a child is missing, the Amber Alert should go out right away!

  • Fed-up29 Oct 21, 2009

    i truly feel sorry for this family but I am wondering when parents will wake up and realize that this is not the same world of their parents or grandparents. Why is a 8 or 9 year old girl walking home ALONE? By law she is not even allowed to be home alone so why is she walking home alone. Parents please, please take care of your little ones. I cant tell you how much it hurts to watch little kids walking alone to schools that are sometimes several blocks away or a short cut through the woods. Pedophiles are EVERYWHERE.

  • MileageWarrior Oct 21, 2009

    jack, you are right. they have more cases because they have more disgusting sexual predators per square mile than any other state in the nation.

  • garnertoy Oct 21, 2009

    seems this is happening more and more hope they find somer and haleigh soon

  • ImBored Oct 21, 2009

    jackflash123...Yeah it ONLY happens if Florida

  • MileageWarrior Oct 21, 2009


    more information in this video. grab your kleenex tho. its a heartwrencher for sure.

  • JaydensMom08 Oct 21, 2009

    I can't imagine how this must feel as a parent...I'm praying for Somer's safe return.