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Nancy Grace

Missing 7-Year-Old Florida Girl`s Body Found in Landfill

Aired October 22, 2009 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live, Florida. A beautiful little 2nd grader, looks like an angel, walks the 10-minute walk home from school with her sister and little twin brother, all their little friends. She runs ahead, gets separated just moments, broad daylight, 7-year-old Somer Thompson never seen alive again. Four o`clock, only an hour later, Mom rushes home, flags down police. No good.

Bombshell tonight. Fifty-five miles to the north -- no tip, no lead - - police spend countless man hours sifting through about a hundred tons of garbage after trailing Somer`s Orange Park trash truck. There`s no other way to say it than just say it. They spot the little girl`s legs sticking out of that filthy garbage. Who -- who -- would murder this beautiful brown-eyed little cherub and throw her away like trash? Before Somer`s murderer lands in hell, we want this child killer now!


DIENA THOMPSON, MOTHER: I want you to know that I will not sleep until this person is found. I hope they get you! And I hope they make you pay for a long, long time. You don`t take from somebody -- you don`t -- you didn`t take her from just me, you took her from my family. You took her from all of these people. And you don`t do this to a little baby and put my baby in the trash like she`s nothing! It`s not OK! This is not OK!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can now say officially that the medical examiner there has positively identified the body that was located in the landfill yesterday as the missing child from Orange Park, Somer Thompson.

DIENA THOMPSON: This predator, this sick -- I don`t know what I`m allowed to say, but this sick man, person, what -- he`s not a man, he`s not a person -- was waiting. He`d been waiting, and that was the perfect opportunity. There was no one else around. That`s the only thing that I could think. And probably told her, I`m going to take you to your Mommy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a child killer on the loose, and that`s why we`re going to catch this person and bring him to justice.

DIENA THOMPSON: Watch out. We`re coming. We`re going to get you.


GRACE: And tonight, live to the heartland. A 9-year-old little Missouri girl who played with little friends walks home, still daylight, through her own neighborhood, no more than a quarter mile. That`s only about a thousand feet. She never makes it home. The little girl is afraid of the dark. Tonight, as the sun is setting, where is 9-year-old Elizabeth?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Law enforcement urgently searching for 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten. Elizabeth vanishes on just a quarter of a mile walk from her friend`s house to her own home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want my little sister home safely. And I don`t know who would have done anything, but we all want her home safely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Law enforcement scouring the area on foot, by ATV and by air. Elizabeth`s cell phone sends out signals but drops off. Law enforcement now believes the battery is dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think, as a parent, how difficult it has to be to cope with the idea that your 9-year-old baby`s not home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As desperate golden hours tick by in the race to find Elizabeth.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Live, Orange Park, Florida. Fifty-five miles to the north -- no tip, no lead -- police spend countless man hours sifting through about a hundred tons of garbage after they trail Somer`s Orange Park trash truck to this dump. There`s no other way to say it than to just say it. Police spot a little girl`s legs sticking out of that filthy garbage.


DIENA THOMPSON: I just want him found! I want someone to have to pay for what -- for what has been done to my family. Her and I were just really a lot alike! We had the same personality. And I just miss holding her and giving her a kiss and not knowing if I actually said I love her. I know that she knew that, but you just never know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s with deep regret and sadness that I have to inform you that a body has been found in the landfill in Folkston, Georgia.

DIENA THOMPSON: My son, when he found out, my oldest, he punched things. He just bawled. He just fell out. And for a child, a son, a boy -- I know men don`t show emotion a lot, but we -- all of us, my whole entire family, my friends, everyone were devastated. I can`t believe that they would put my baby in the trash!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a suspect out there somewhere who`s watching this broadcast right now, and I don`t want to tell that suspect what we`re doing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I will tell him this. We`re coming to get him, and we`re going to find who did this and we`re going to bring that person to justice.

DIENA THOMPSON: We`re going to get you.


GRACE: Straight out to Tiffany Griffith with WOKV radio. She`s standing by there at Somer`s home. Tiffany, thank you for being with us. I knew that they were searching the landfill. Police insisted they did not have a tip of any sort. But they found the little girl. What exactly happened?

TIFFANY GRIFFITH, WOKV RADIO: Well, as we know, it is routine that whenever investigators have a missing child or a missing person in the area, the first, immediate thing they do is, like they say, follow the trash and follow that trail. And they went immediately to the dumping ground where they know a lot of the garbage from this Orange Park neighborhood goes, and it did lead to the discovery.

GRACE: Tell me the timeline -- Ellie Jostad, what can you tell me about the timeline as to when they found the little girl?

ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Right. Well, Nancy, this was just Tuesday morning. One of the investigate at the sheriff`s office suggested they follow the trash from her neighborhood to this landfill. They searched Tuesday. Wednesday, about 3:00 o`clock, they discovered that body. And the body was there through the night as they continued to discover or search for evidence in the immediate vicinity. At 2:00 AM, little Somer`s body was transported to the medical examiner`s office, where she underwent an autopsy.

GRACE: Tiffany Griffith, WOKV radio. Everyone, we are taking your calls live. We`re about to be joined by Somer`s neighbor, Ms. Rukab. Tiffany, how did they identify this as being the little girl?

GRIFFITH: Well, as we know from following that timeline, we knew as of yesterday, they had made a development and discovery of a child`s body. By early this morning, preliminary tests did show that this was the body of 7-year-old Somer Thompson. By this afternoon, they could confirm via dental records that this was indeed Somer.

GRACE: Joining me right now from the Somer`s home, Lisa Rukab. This is Somer`s neighbor. She knew the little girl very well, her entire family, her little twin brother, the mother, all of them. Ms. Rukab, thank you for being with us.

LISA RUKAB, NEIGHBOR: You`re welcome.

GRACE: Ms. Rukab, as a victim of violent crime myself, I thought I knew the pain that murder victims` families go through, but I don`t think that anything could compare to losing a child. When did the family find out that a body had been found in a trash dump? When did the police tell them this?

RUKAB: I`m guessing last night, 6:00-ish, 7:00-ish, we had our suspect -- or suspicions. And then at 9:00 PM, they had confirmed it to the family.

GRACE: Did they confirm it was little Somer through a birthmark on her body?

RUKAB: Yes, ma`am.

GRACE: How are -- I mean, I`ve seen the mom, but how are the little brothers? How`s the twin brother and the sister? How are they holding up?

RUKAB: They`re as well as to be expected. They`re young, so we really don`t really know what`s going through their minds right now. But they`re very, very heartbroken. It`s probably going to take -- this will follow them for the rest of their lives.

GRACE: Oh. Oh. Of course. Of course. What are they telling the little brother and sister about where she is, about what happened?

RUKAB: I`m not sure. I haven`t really heard that, but I`m sure they`re letting -- they`re not hiding anything. I don`t think they`re, you know, covering anything. I think that they`re full, letting them know everything that`s been going on.

GRACE: When they were told that a body had been found, did they know immediately that it was Somer, or were they holding out hope that it was somebody else?

RUKAB: We were definitely holding out hope. We had heard that there were two more in Clay that we also did not know about. So we had optimism that there would not -- you know, the odds were on our side that it may not be her.

GRACE: How is the mom doing?

RUKAB: Diena has really impressed me. I don`t think that I could have held up as well as she`s really done. She`s gotten strength from somewhere to come out and talk to the media and being thankful to everyone. She`s -- she`s -- you know, she`s really doing, you know, good on this sense (ph). But at home, you know, she`s probably going through her own little -- need time away and quiet time and stuff.

GRACE: Ms. Rukab, just looking at this little girl with those beautiful brown eyes and little bangs, I just can`t imagine somebody grabbing her by the arm and taking her away and hurting her. What was she like? What was the little girl`s disposition?

RUKAB: Very playful. She`s very open-minded. She`s a very smart little girl. She knows everybody. She`s a very -- I guess you could say she would basically be someone you could connect with. She`s very friendly. She loves people. She loves kids. She loves to play.


DIENA THOMPSON: I just want him found! I want someone to have to pay for what -- for what has been done to my family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Diena, so many people have come and they`ve given food. Is there anything you need?

DIENA THOMPSON: My baby back. That`s all I can say!




DIENA THOMPSON: I just wanted to come out and again say thank you to everybody who looked for my baby, who has been taken from me by someone. And I said yesterday on the news that I didn`t care if you`ve ever got into trouble, I want you to know that I will not sleep until this person is found. I hope they get you and I hope they make you pay for a long, long time.

You don`t take from somebody. You don`t -- you didn`t take her from just me, you took her from my family. You took her from all of these people. And you don`t do this to a little baby and put my baby in the trash like she`s nothing! That`s not OK! This is not OK!

She really -- her and I were just -- we were really a lot alike! We had -- we the same personality. I just miss holding her and giving her a kiss and not knowing if I actually said I love her. I know that she knew that, but you just never know.

Watch out, we`re coming.


DIENA THOMPSON: We`re going to get you.


GRACE: That is the mother of little Somer Renee Thompson, a little 2nd grader who has lost her life. Her body was found in a trash dump. Police, after countless man hours of sifting through nearly a hundred tons of garbage 55 miles to the north of Orange Park, Florida -- they found the dump by following the trash trucks as they left Somer`s neighborhood -- see a little girl`s legs sticking out of the trash. It is Somer.

To the lines. Shanney in Florida. Hi, dear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello. How are you this evening?

GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am very sad. Ten days ago in Jacksonville, in that same subdivision, they had an attempted abduction. And I`m wondering, with the kids walking home, no one heard her yell. There was a lady and two white males in the vehicle for that attempted abduction, and I just have this gut feeling whoever abducted this child, she felt comfortable enough where there were no screams. I live 15 minutes away from there. Plenty of kids are walking from home at the same time. So I just think it`s really odd that there -- no one heard anything during that busy time of school. What do you think?

GRACE: I think it`s very odd, too. And I want to tell you what we are hearing about that prior abduction attempt. This was just the week before Somer was taken, a little girl, 5 years old, similar to Somer, just a block away. Apparently, a Hispanic female and two males in the vehicle tried to tell her that her mommy wanted her to come home and they were to take her.

Now police are saying they don`t know that was an abduction attempt. They don`t know that it was connected. But if those are even remotely the facts, Shanney in Florida, I think there has to be a connection.

Out to Tiffany Griffith, WOKV radio. Tiffany, what can you tell me about that prior attempt?

GRIFFITH: What I can tell you about that prior attempt is, is that the mother of that child -- and also, the person who acted as a good Samaritan, who clearly saw something was wrong and quickly acted to work in the best interests of that child, made sure that that child got home safely, and she said that she turned around and the vehicle that had apparently approached that other little girl had zipped off just as soon as she`d arrived on scene.

Investigators are telling us, exactly as you said, that it doesn`t look like this has any connection to Somer`s disappearance, and that, yes, they also do have more questions and don`t necessarily want to label that other incident as an abduction attempt.

GRACE: To Ellie Jostad, our chief editorial producer. I understand police are looking at -- also in answer to Shanney in Florida`s question about how could this have happened without any screaming. You can easily get kid in the car and nobody ever hears a thing. But what can you tell me about police looking at a vacant house and a park across the street from where she went missing? Let`s see that map again, Norm. Go ahead, El.

JOSTAD: Right, Nancy. This is 1080 Gano Avenue. Gano Avenue is the street that Somer was walking down with her brother and sister when they got separated. Apparently, there is a vacant house. There was a fire in this house several months ago. It`s been vacant ever since. Out in front of that house is where they now believe Somer was last seen. So they`ve set up a mobile forensics unit to search that house.


SAM THOMPSON, FATHER: The tears have dried up and I`m just -- I`m so angry, I can`t express with words -- they just disregarded my child like a piece of trash. I hope they crucify them.




DIENA THOMPSON: I think that when she ran off, she was upset. And she got to a point and decided to stop and wait, and that this predator, this sick -- I don`t know what I`m allowed to say, but this sick man, person, what -- he`s not a man, he`s not a person -- was waiting. He`d been waiting, and that was the perfect opportunity. There was no one else around. That`s the only thing I could think. And probably told her, I`m going to take you to your mommy.


GRACE: To Marc Klaas. Everyone, we`re taking your calls. Not only is the little girl found dead, she has been thrown away in the garbage. Police find her by noticing her legs, the little 7-year-old girl`s legs, sticking out of tons of filthy trash.

Marc Klaas, that scenario that her mother has put forth, that someone was waiting, sounds true. It has the ring of truth. I think that`s what happened, too.

MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: I wouldn`t doubt that for a moment. The first thing I`d like to do, though, Nancy, is offer my condolence to Somer`s family. I know what they`re going through. I`ve been there myself. They are in a bottomless pit of grief right now. And hopefully, they will be able to extricate themselves.

But the reality is, is that of people that murder little children as a result of an abduction, 57 percent of them have a history of previous convictions of violence against children. The most common scenario, or I should say the most common victim -- let me put it this way, 76.2 percent of these children that are kidnapped will be dead within three hours, 74 percent of those victims will be little girls. More than half of all children that are murdered as a result of an abduction are first picked up within a quarter mile of their home, and a full third of those kids are the first contact is made within a half block of the home.

The obvious lesson in this is that we cannot allow our children to go outside unaccompanied, bottom line.


DIENA THOMPSON: Watch out. We`re coming. We`re going to get you.






(Singing) I was alone here so I held my head and I cried. You are my sunshine my only sunshine, you make me...

My son, when he found out, my oldest, he punched things. He just balled. He just fell out. And for a child, a son, a boy, I know men don`t show emotion a lot, but we, all of us, my whole entire family, my friends, everyone, we`re devastated. I can`t believe that they would put my baby in the trash.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a child killer on the loose and that`s why we`re going to catch this person and bring him to justice. I fear, I fear for our community until we bring this person in. This is a heinous crime that`s been committed. And you know we`re going to work as hard as we can to make this community safe.

SAM THOMPSON, FATHER OF SOMER THOMPSON, 7-YR-OLD GIRL FOUND THROWN IN TRASH: There`s no measure of punishment that you deserve and set the same death my daughter went through. That may sound really hard but that`s my daughter.


NANCY GRACE, HOST: We are taking your calls live. We have received word that a child`s body has been found in a trash dump. There with over a hundred tons of trash. 55 miles to the north of Orange Park, Florida home, Somer`s body has been found and identified. First, identified by birthmark and now through dental records.

There is no doubt that this body is the body of 7-year-old little Somer.

We are taking your calls. To Abigail in Illinois, hi, Abigail.

ABIGAIL, CALLER FROM ILLINOIS: Hi, Nancy. God bless you, Nancy, for your relentless pursuit for justice for victims of horrific crimes.

GRACE: I don`t -- I don`t feel like that. When I was listening to the mother singing not too many hours ago, I had the twins at the playground on the swing and I was singing that very song to them and they were laughing and the sky was blue and it`s just very hard to believe that not that far away they were identifying this little girl`s body and I wonder how many days and nights this mom sang that same song to Somer.

I`m just sick about it. What is your question, love?

ABIGAIL: Thank you, Nancy. I would like to know if the police have checked out all the sex offenders in Somer`s city? Also let alone in surrounding cities?

GRACE: Let`s go out to Tiffany Griffith, WOKV, with that question. And not only that question, what more, Tiffany, can you tell me about that park across from where she lives and that vacant house that they`re zeroing in on? I mean, if somebody`s in that vacant house, by god, certainly they left some sort of forensic trail.

TIFFANY GRIFFITH, REPORTER, WOKV RADIO, ON THE SCENE FROM SOMER THOMPSON`S HOME: Both good questions. What we do know as far as the sex offenders in this area that with the original search in a three-mile area they were looking at 57. Then they expanded it to five miles and they added an additional 37 sex offenders that they were looking into.

We do know that they have checked with at least 90 percent of those sex offenders and that there are still five that they are looking to question. They told us that they`ve been able to clear all of those sex offenders that they have discussed. And that doesn`t mean that they won`t go back and still do some additional interviews but for right now, they don`t have a specific sex offender linked to this crime.

And now as far as that house on Gano Avenue, we do know that it is vacant. There was nobody living in it at the time. It was owned by a family. But they weren`t living in that home. We do know at some point it was also involved in a fire.

That home we do know that Somer was walking past it, last she was seen by witnesses. Not necessarily saying that she actually went inside house. We don`t know if maybe she was dragged in but we do know that she was walking past it last she was seen. And as I said, right across the street, from that house, is a park.

And investigators are looking into a restroom there where a bag of evidence has been taken from the restroom. We don`t know what`s inside of it but we do hope to learn more.

GRACE: I want to go to Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst and author of "DealBreakers." Bethany, we are getting floods of calls and e-mails and an overwhelming question is why? Why? And you know what? I used to ask that in my head since prosecutors don`t have to prove motive.

I would be sitting in the courtroom looking over at some defendant who committed a crime on a child or a murder and I would think, why? Why? But then after about five years of beating my head against a cement block, I figured I don`t really care why. I don`t care why.

All I care is that I get the right guy and that he gets justice. But why? You`re the shrink. Why would somebody want to grab this little girl by the arm? If she`s walking home from school at 2:45 p.m. with her friends, drag her into a vacant house or stick her into a car, probably torture her.


GRACE: Probably sexually assaulted this little 7-year-old girl and then murder her. Why? What drives somebody to do that?

MARSHALL: You just put your finger on it, Nancy. The number one reason for child abduction is sexual assault. And the research is just -- it`s horrifying. The research shows that usually these guys use pornography in order to fill their wish to kill. It shows that only two- thirds of the men who commit abduction, sexual assault, homicide, have a prior arrest.

And of that population, only half of them have an arrest for a crime against a child. So it is not enough to look at a sex offender registry to determine whether or not you`re safe in your neighborhood. Of these offenders, they go to jail. Most of them have a history of offenses against children for 17 years.

Children are not immune from sexual assault simply because they`re close to home. Marc Klaas was right, half of these child abduction homicides occur within three blocks of the child`s home. Keep your eye on your children.

GRACE: You know that brings up...

MARSHALL: Don`t let them walk to school alone.

GRACE: ... something really interesting and I want to go through this list that we came up with, Norm, about who could possibly do this? And very often, you will see that children are abducted by people they know. And I`m not talking about crazy Uncle Weird. The familiarity could be more attenuated like Elizabeth Smart.

The person that abducted her was someone the mom had hired do odd jobs because she felt sorry for the guy. Then there is, of course, Jesse Lunsford. She was taken by Couey who lived in her neighborhood. Megan Kanka. Megan (INAUDIBLE) was taken by a neighbor. Danielle Van Dam was taken by Westerfield. May he rot in hell who was a neighbor. Martha Moxley was murdered by a neighbor. One of the Kennedy clan.

The list goes on and on and on. And it doesn`t necessarily have to be a relative or a close family friend. But someone they are in contact with. Someone that knows them.

We are taking your calls live. First, I want to go to Tracy Sargent and Cinco. K-9 handler of the search and rescue recovery specialist of Homeland Security.

Tracy, cadaver dogs were used in this case. How does it work?

TRACY SARGENT, K9 HANDLER, SEARCH, RESCUE & RECOVERY SPECIALIST: Yes, ma`am. Landfills really offer a unique challenge to dogs and to teams because of all the debris, the contamination. It really requires the dog some intensive search to pinpoint where that person might be.

It`s oftentimes dogs will alert in a landfill to things that we may not even be searching for such as bloody rags, (INAUDIBLE) products, other things. The dogs will pinpoint all human remains in a landfill. So it`s not unusual for them to alert even the thing that we`re looking for is not there.

What we`re going to demonstrate, too, is that here in the studio are two debris piles and we`re going to kind of simulate how the dogs can be effective in a landfill even though the challenges are there. The dog`s going to tell us what pile to search for further evidence.

Cinco, hunt. So what you noticed here, he went through this pile here that tells us that there`s nothing here. So he went to this trash pile and he`s telling us, we need to check in this area. So from there, investigators will go through the tons of debris to find out what is that dog responding to. Is it responding to the little girl or is it responding to something else?

At that point in time we will reward the dog and then we will tell the officials, check in this area. But landfills offer, again, a very unique and very tedious, difficult challenge for dogs. But they can be effective in landfills.

GRACE: With us tonight from Homeland Security, Tracy Sargent, and her cadaver dog, Cinco. We are taking your calls live. But if you`re just joining us, the news reporting tonight that the child -- the body of a small child has been found in a trash dump. And it is 7-year-old Somer.

As we go to break, we ask for your thoughts and prayers for Georgia friend of the show, Lucille Dent. Set for surgery, a real beauty in her youth. Never missed a Sunday in church before entering a Methodist home for seniors. She tunes in every single night.

Miss Dent, please, stay strong.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can now say officially that the medical examiner there has positively identified the body that was located in the landfill yesterday as the missing child from Orange Park, Somer Thompson.

Her family has been notified of these findings. As you can imagine due to the investigation, we are not in a position to discuss the cause or manner of death or any other details of the autopsy. But I will tell you that her identity was verified through dental records.

D. THOMPSON: Please, you don`t have to tell them who you are, you don`t have to -- you`re not going to be in trouble if you give the answers. Just help us find who this is. Don`t let another -- I never thought in my -- in all of my life that I would ever have to do this. Be -- even know anybody, I don`t want to see another parent feel empty.


GRACE: Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight, Richard Herman, renowned defense attorney out of New York. Hugo Rodriguez, defense attorney, former fed with the FBI out of Atlanta.

Well, Richard Herman, I don`t know how many death penalty cases you have worked on but this would certainly be one for the books. There is no way once this perpetrator is caught that there will not be a death penalty sought. No way!

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No way. The outcry from the community`s going to put enormous pressure on a district attorney`s office. They are going to have to bridge it.

GRACE: They don`t need pressure. Don`t act like this is a political decision. Take a look at this little girl. Nobody needs to exert pressure, Richard.

HERMAN: Yes, they need the pressure here and they`re going to get it, Nancy. It`s devastating. This case is absolutely devastating on behalf of all of the criminal defense attorneys you invite on your show, this is absolute devastation. To hear the parents speak...

GRACE: You know what, you know what. Please, please don`t. Just -- I appreciate the sentiment but just save your breath because some defense attorney`s going to feel like it`s their duty under the constitution to try to get whoever did this off. We all know that.

You know, Hugo Rodriguez, in the state of Florida, as in every state, there are certain mitigating and there are certain aggravating factors that are looked at when the death penalty is sought. This would certainly fit into the Florida death penalty special criteria, but it may end up being a Georgia case because when you don`t know where the crime was committed, you prosecute where the body was found. Yes? No?

HUGO RODRIGUEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY, FMR. FBI AGENT: Yes, as to your answer. But I`m in Florida, Florida has a death penalty. Duvall County, where there is from, will prosecute more than likely. And they have a history here in Florida and they will charge murder one, plus kidnapping, which would cause not only death but an additional 50 years a person would never get out of jail and I agree with Herman.

GRACE: OK, number one, it`s Wade County, not Duvall.

RODRIGUEZ: Excuse me.

GRACE: But number two, another legal theory for it to be handled in Florida, which I believe has a better death penalty record than Georgia does, would be that, even if this child was murdered in Georgia, even if, the crime began in Florida?

RODRIGUEZ: The crime did begin in Florida. I think that from the forensics where they found the body they`re going to find other things that will tire to that community where she was abducted and it will be in Florida. And as you said, we have a history in Florida of bringing these death penalty cases one of the largest in the country.

GRACE: Yes, you do, and Richard Herman, correction, it`s Clay County. But Richard, right now, what would your advice to be to -- be to the killer?

HERMAN: To the killer.

GRACE: Yes. Because you know throw -- throw a bone for Pete`s sake. Of course it`s a him. But throw a bone.

HERMAN: See, that`s the problem. You know it`s not necessarily a sex offender or a him. You can`t just focus on those groups. Yes, you have to investigate them. But don`t limit it. That`s Sunday schoolteacher put that poor little girl in a suitcase and threw her in a river. You can`t limit it to that group, Nancy.

GRACE: You know what, Richard Herman -- put Herman up, please. I stand corrected. You are absolutely correct. We do not want to limit the search.

Everyone, we are taking your calls. I want to go out to Marc Klaas. Marc, weigh in.

MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, KLAASKIDS FOUNDATION: Well, you know, the gal that murdered Sandra Cantu is the only female predator that we`re aware of. She`s the only female pedophile I think that we`re aware of just as we didn`t know anything about female psychopaths before -- we didn`t really know anything about this until this gal had murdered Sandra Cantu.

This is most likely a man. He`s most likely a sexually sadistic psychopath.

GRACE: Right.

KLAAS: And he really doesn`t care what you, I, or anybody else think. That`s not why he did this.

GRACE: Right.

KLAAS: He did this for instant self-gratification without consideration for the consequences of his crime.

GRACE: Very quickly to Bill Majeski. What are your thoughts, Bill? I think I have got Bill Majeski with me. Go ahead, Bill.

BILL MAJESKI, FMR. NYPD DETECTIVE, MAJESKI ASSOCIATES, INC.: That vacant house that`s in Florida, I think that`s going to be a treasure trove of forensic evidence that they`re going to be gathering as we are speaking now. Hopefully they will then, with that evidence, be able to connect that murder to the individuals that were involved in it.

GRACE: Back to...

MAJESKI: All of kind of DNA evidence is going to be there and a multitude of other things.

GRACE: Back to Lisa Rukab, a neighbor of Somer`s family. Lisa, what are the family`s plans at this point. They don`t even have the little girl`s body.

LISA RUKAB, NEIGHBOR OF SOMER THOMPSON`S FAMILY, ON SCENE FROM SOMER THOMPSON`S HOME: No, ma`am. I`m thinking as soon as they -- Savannah gets finished and we get her back home, we do have a funeral home here that`s -- that`s taken care of everything. As far as what they`re doing right now, we`re just waiting for her to come home so we can go from there.

GRACE: And to Dr. Michael Bell, how will they be able to tell if the child was sexually molested?

DR. MICHAEL BELL, PALM BEACH CO. CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER: Well, they`ll do a rape or sexual assault kit and look for body fluids in the usual places.

GRACE: With me, Dr. Michael Bell, Palm Beach County chief medical examiner. We are taking your calls.

But as we go to break, it is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Tonight, Women`s Personal Health Resource founded nine years ago by oncology nurse Barbara whose mom fought cancer and struggled to find wigs and everything else she needed during that battle.

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GRACE: I want to take you to another story of a missing girl tonight. Hopefully you can help us.

Very quickly to Ladd Egan, news director/anchor, CNN affiliate KRCG.

Ladd, what can you tell us about 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten?

LAD D EGAN, NEWS DIRECTOR/ANCHOR, CNN AFFILIATE, KRCG, COVERING STORY (via phone): Hi, Nancy. She is a 9-year-old fourth grader. Last night around 6:00 p.m. heading home to her house from a friend`s home, only four houses between the friend`s home and her home, about a quarter-mile walk, and she disappeared somewhere going home.

GRACE: But, Ladd, wasn`t it only about a quarter of a mile. That`s only about 1300 feet.

EGAN: Yes, a very short distance. And -- and the family called the authorities within 45 minutes of her not arriving home. So not a lot of a time frame we`re talking about that she went missing in.

GRACE: OK, to Matt Zarrell, our producer on the story. Matt, what exactly happened?

MATT ZARRELL, NANCY GRACE STAFFER, COVERING STORY: Well, she was walking over to a friend`s house at 6:15 p.m. When the parents saw that she didn`t arrive, she called cops. They called cops. Now cops have gotten a ping on her cell phone behind the house in the woods. But, the family is suspect because they`re saying that the -- the family is saying that the -- she would never walk in the woods, number one, and number two, she was terrified of the dark. So there`s no way that she would have left the cell phone there.

GRACE: Good point, good point. Ladd, back to you. Ladd Egan joining us from KRCG. Matt has a point. But to me, that simply means, although she would not have entered the wooded area herself, someone either dragged her there or discarded her cell phone there.

EGAN: Exactly. And that`s what we`re talking with authorities about. They say that the family says she only walked on the side of the road, although sometimes she would walk behind the backyards of all the houses to get back to her house. But she would not have walked in the woods. That`s what the family says.

And that cell phone -- the battery is now dead. They can no longer ping its location. And they`ve searched in that area all day long. They searched and they went through that area twice. Haven`t found the phone and haven`t found her.

GRACE: Everyone, the tip line for this little girl. Another missing young girl. 573-634-9160. We`re talking about Elizabeth Olten, just 9 years old from the Heartland, St. Martins, Missouri. Please, look at this girl.

Everyone, let`s stop and remember Army Staff Sergeant Juan Campos, 27, McAllen, Texas, killed, Iraq. On a second tour, awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart. Meritorious service medal. Remembered as a leader who always smiled. Leaves behind mother Maria, three brothers, two sisters, widow Jamie, one son, Andre.

Juan Campos, American hero.

Thanks to our guest, but especially to you for being with us. And a special good night from friend of the show, V.G., Virginia. What a smile.

Everyone, I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And our prayers tonight with little Somer and little Elizabeth`s family. God bless them.

Until tomorrow, good night, friend.