Cops searching for missing Fla. girl find a body

ORANGE PARK, Fla. — Detectives searching for a missing 7-year-old north Florida girl said they found the body of a young child in a Georgia landfill Wednesday, but it has not yet been identified.

Clay County, Fla., Sheriff Rick Beseler first said the partially covered body was a female, but then corrected himself and said he couldn’t yet confirm the gender. The parents of Somer Thompson, who has been missing since Monday, have been notified.

The body was found by Clay County detectives who followed garbage trucks from the girl’s neighborhood to Folkston, Ga., just north of the Florida border in Charlton County, Ga.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said the agency was assisting with the investigation and would conduct an autopsy on the body Thursday morning in its Savannah office.

“We all need to say a prayer for Somer’s family,” Gov. Charlie Crist said at a press conference announcing the discovery.

Somer vanished on her mile-long walk home from school Monday in Orange Park, near Jacksonville.

She was squabbling with another child, and her sister told her to stop. The girl got upset, walked ahead of the group and wasn’t seen again.

Orange Park is a suburb of Jacksonville just south of Jacksonville Naval Air Station. The area where the girl disappeared is a heavily populated residential area with homes, apartment complexes and condominiums.