A man who Clay County deputies felt confident was their man, pleaded guilty on Friday to the abduction and murder of a 7-year-old Orange Park girl.
A judge sentenced Jarred M. Harrell, 26, to life in prison for the murder of Somer Thompson.
Somer Thompson was walking home from school on October 19, 2009, with her sister and some friends, when she disappeared. Within days, her body was found in a Georgia landfill.
As tips poured in detectives were led to Meridian, Mississippi where Harrell was arrested and charged with 29 counts of child pornography on February 11, 2010. At the time, he was also named a “Person of Interest” in the abduction and murder of Somer.
Based on DNA and other evidence, Clay County detectives searched the home where Harrell had previously lived, not far from Somer’s home in Orange Park.
On March 26, 2010, detectives charged Harrell with Somer’s abduction and murder. Detectives say, Harrell abducted and killed Somer, dumped her body in a dumpster which later ended up in the landfill in Georgia, across the state lines.
According to several news reports, Harrell took a plea deal in order to avoid the death penalty. He won’t be eligible for parole.