POI Arrest In the Murder of Somer Thompson: Jarred Harrell

Posted by BOC Staff | Jarred Harrell,Murdered,Somer Thompson | Thursday 11 February 2010 8:45 pm

Orange Park, FL– 24 year old Jarred Mitchell Harrell is in custody this evening on 29 counts of child pornography charges and has been named a person of interest in the murder of Somer Thompson.

Missing from her walk home from school on October 19th, 7 year old Somer was found in  a Georgia landfill on October 21st.


Harrell was arrested by Federal agents in Merdian , MS and is being held on a $1 Million dollar bond. Until recently, he lived in a home near Somer Thompson’s at 1152 Gano Avenue, which was also searched today.

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  1. Mom3.0 says:

    I am glad to see this. Thanks for the update.

  2. VeLoWoodson says:

    RIP Baby. You will receive justice.

  3. shyloh says:

    WOW I wonder how it all came about? I pray this is justice for Somer and her family. Thank you Blink

  4. Mariann says:

    Hopefully this will be the guy and Somer’s family will finally have closure.

  5. Enquirer says:

    blink – what do you think the chances are of the images found on Harrell’s computer being of Somer?

    According to the warrant they are of a single nude white girl between the age of 6 and 8.

    Strong. Very. Not “sitting there” but in unallocated.

  6. lily says:

    Oh my please let’s all respect the dignity and innocence of a 7 year old whose short life was so much more than what this horrible freak took away from her in 30 minutes. I cannot stand this or understand it.

  7. lily says:

    I don’t mean your post B. I know we have to know what happened in order to understand it and in a way that also respects what Somer went through. I also think that pedophiles peruse these boards looking for details for their own perverted reasons. I don’t know what the balance is. I just don’t feel as though anything we’re doing has or will change the people that do this. How do you make someone feel empathy for those that are weaker than themselves if they do not naturally feel this way? There are actual parents that do this to their own or friends of their own children! It seems as though we’re going in circles.

  8. lil Lucy says:

    I hate the fact that in our society today all we can cheer for is the apprehension of an animal. I so wish we could cheer that the child was found unhurt and hungry…May this be the man that did this awful act and may God see to it he gets his. To the Somer family, words cannot express the feelings we Americans have for all of you. Somer is a beautiful child and her face lives in everyone’s minds and memory. I don’t need details about what this animal did, I live daily knowing that I have another Angel on my side and watching me. For your family I pray for Justice ASAP. With deep sorrow and regret, I hope this brings some sense of peace, because I am sure there can never be closure where your dear daughter is concerned. My deepest condolences

  9. Gypsy DD says:

    I can not even imagine the paian of her family to hear this monster was the person wo took teir sweet little girl’s life.

    Just too sick and sad to comprehend..look at the perps age…you know this has been going on awhile for him..and that he started out very young.

    Yep, all a big secret to some. You always know dear friend.

  10. rachelle says:

    i am glad to hear about this arrest….may justice be served, may somer rest in heaven.

  11. Word Girl says:

    Apparently, JMH’s former roommate had his computer and discovered the images–acc to JVM show.
    Glad a predator was caught. Now to find implication in the murder. Seems likely, but if not, we are getting very close!

  12. orangeparkgirl says:

    Re: Enquirer says:
    February 11, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    blink – what do you think the chances are of the images found on Harrell’s computer being of Somer?

    According to the warrant they are of a single nude white girl between the age of 6 and 8.

    Strong. Very. Not “sitting there” but in unallocated.
    I’ve been following the Morgan Harrington case here, and it was in that thread that I saw an arrest has been made in Somer’s case. I’m in Orange Park, and was able to catch the local news about the arrest and re: images being of Somer, from what local news is saying, his computer was found in August with the image of this young 6-8 year old, meaning it would not be Somer. Via http://www.news4jax.com/news/22535336/detail.html :

    “According to documents released by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Harrell possessed child pornography on his computer at a Wells Road apartment complex. Harrell was asked to move out of his residence in August after his roommates found out that he stole from them, according to an arrest warrant. He left the residence, leaving his computer and a box of CDs behind, according to the warrant.

    While Harrell was gone, the roommates got into the computer to search for child porn after they had been told Harrell had been caught looking at child porn, according to the warrant. They opened the images and found a nude white girl between the age of 6 and 8, and the computer was turned over to the sheriff’s office on Aug. 10, according to the warrant. Harrell moved into the home on Gano Avenue between that time and December, when neighbors said he moved out.”

  13. Word Girl says:

    Here’s an excerpt from jacksonville.com, by reporter Jim Schoettler.

    “The arrest warrant said Harrell worked for a Mississippi recycling company at the time of his arrest. He is listed as 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds.
    A Middleburg woman whose daughter was a one-time roommate of Harrell and who said she has known him and his family for years described him as a recluse who enjoyed playing computer games.
    Lisa Buchanan said Harrell spent at least some time alone in his mother’s home at 1152 Gano Ave. at the time of Somer’s disappearance.
    The home, which is a block from where Somer was last seen and along her route home from Grove Park Elementary School, was searched Thursday by Clay deputies and FBI agents. Authorities also served related search warrants at homes in Callahan and Mississippi, as well as a car in Mississippi, Beseler said.

    Buchanan, 45, said Harrell had previously been living with her daughter in an apartment on Wells Road. But she said Harrell was kicked out in August for stealing an iPod.
    She said her daughter then found child pornography, with girls as young as 6, on a computer and computer discs Harrell left behind. Harrell’s arrest docket provides graphic details of those images and movies.
    Buchanan and her 46-year-old husband, Rod, said they went with their daughter to turn over the materials to police in August. Those materials were in turn given to the state attorney general’s Cyber Crimes Unit.
    Processing was not finished until after Somer’s death, authorities said.
    The Buchanans said they spotted Harrell’s vehicle outside his mother’s home a few days after Somer’s body was found and alerted police to their concerns about him. The couple said Harrell’s mother and stepfather moved out of the home about two weeks before Somer’s disappearance.”

    Home was vacant. Same place we originally thought, right?


    No, not first “vacant house” and do I read that correctly? This pedo was turned in in August?
    2 Months before Somer’s abduction and murder?

  14. Red Ranger says:

    The live report at 7 pm EST speculated that recently retrieved lab results from DNA recovered at the dump led to him. This is unconfirmed though.

    Someone prepared a statement and released it as her mom’s. I reckon Deana Thompson was unavailable for comment. Imagine that.

    This POI porn pusher is the size of an NFL lineman. His shadow weighs more than Somer.

    The good guys tackled.

    O I know. Heinous.

  15. Billiejean says:

    Blink . thank you for the update .To Somers family I am so sorry for you troubles and pain , I hope this helps you , I do not know if it will, To beautiful sweet Somer RIP little love , and to anybody out there that thinks that somebody is not quite square around children , do the right thing ,watch them , report them , do something, you were a child once upon a time , and to Blink or anyone how do we really change the law and the rules on this most heinous of crimes , any ideas anybody , Blink thank you again cheri for being a champion of the wee folk !

  16. orangeparkgirl says:


    No, not first “vacant house” and do I read that correctly? This pedo was turned in in August?
    2 Months before Somer’s abduction and murder?

    This video shows a video of tonight’s news, at 4:55 the anchorman asks about why he was not arrested in August if there was evidence of child pornography, and the reporter answers that it doesn’t appear an arrest warrant was ever issued in August.

    It’s a shame to think this all could have been avoided if that arrest was made…

  17. Iknow says:

    The Girl who took the computer and disk to the “Jacksonville” SO on August 10, knew this perp. (She was his roommmate) LE had this computer and the disks since August 10 and had not made any attempts to arrest him for child porn.

    Later, the same girl who turned his computer into LE saw the Perps car parked at his Mom’s house on Gano a couple of days AFTER Somer was found at the landfield. That is when she called Clay County and informed them about the porn…and what she knew about the perp. The Perp’s parents moved out of the house three or so weeks before Somer’s attack. LE is unsure how quickly he left after Somer’s murder.

    Soooooooooooooo…it looks like JSO dropped the ball…but funny that Sheriff Belser is saying the porn was found in Flager County..when the girl who turned him in posted on NewsJax that it was Jacksonville who she took the computer to.

    I don’t know..a true PR nighmare..but thankfully this creep has been caught.

    I was reading in the Meridan Mississippi news and noticed a woman’s body was found in Jan 2010. I just wonder if he continued his killing spree.

    There is another killer loose in Jacksonville, a young 17 year old black female was killed and dumped in the woods. This just happened two days ago. I wonder who the hell killed her?

    Sad world we live in.

  18. Iknow says:

    I meant Clay County…not Flager.

    The Girl took the computer to JSO..Not Clay County like Belser claims.

  19. Carol says:

    Thank goodness he has been arrested. Throw away the key. This little girl is sweeter than a lollipop. My heart just breaks when I look at that picture of her. Sending her family love and strength.

  20. alexandra says:

    R.I.P. beautiful little Somer.
    May we find the way to change the sickness in our society
    that creates monsters walking and living among us.
    Strength to Somers mother and father and family.
    Thank you Blink.

  21. mjh says:

    If they already knew about this guy in August, and the police were alerted to concerns about him when his car was spotted there a few days after Somer went missing, did they not check into him and search the house at that time?

    Was this the first time that house was searched?

    I have been waiting, hoping, praying for an arrest in this case. It seems to have taken far too long. I am relieved that they have this guy, but angered that this could have possibly been prevented if they had done something about him sooner.

    Somer will live forever in my heart.

    Thank you for this update, Blink.

    My heart hurts so much for Somer today. How is this not an avoidable crime?

    I can tell you from statistics, if he knew that porn went to police, it actually encourages someone to offend if they believe they will be arrested anyway. It is a trigger for them. I sincerely hope this is investigated properly. Is there any chance this freak was the dude in the woods?

  22. Red Ranger says:

    I watched the Sheriff’s live announcement feed last night. Afterwards, one of the reporters was relaying things the neighbors had said. One of the neighbors said there was a big shed in the back of the house at the time Somer disappeared that is now gone.

  23. STEP says:

    Good work,Blink. STEP

  24. mjh says:

    Hey Blink,

    If those are the statistics — and sounds logical that it would be a trigger — why would they not arrest someone for child porn right away? This is what drives me crazy. Child porn is child porn — it doesn’t take 3 months to look at a computer.

    And, the dude in the woods — yes. They said that story was unfounded, but why would a social worker make something like that up? Someone must know who he was and if it is this same guy.

    Red, do you think the shed is gone because LE has it, or did the scum knock the shed down to get rid of evidence??

  25. Josie says:

    Thank you Blink for covering little Somer’s story. This little angel’s face is such a light of love. How could anyone, anyone be so cruel as to take this innocent child’s life? The voices of all of these little ones are calling out to us. Justice has to be found.

    God bless and give comfort to Somer’s mother and family.

    Blink thanks to you for the special love that you have for these little ones. The reward is when the monsters that commit crimes against them are brought down. I feel there is a special place among the angels for you. So much love to you.

  26. Boz says:

    Billiejean: I want to respond to your 1:10am post. We can’t do what you want because of four little letters ACLU people have their liberties you know. Another way to say what I’m trying to convey is what I’ll call the RKS, Roy Cronk Syndrome. I mean, you can call the cops if you suspect something, they come out and see a rattlesnake and get scared and go away. You call them again and they make you feel like a fool. Do you call again? I don’t know.

    We now have a dead 22 year old girl here in Orlando who was being stalked and had it heavily documented and could not get a restraining order on him. We have a man here who shot and killed his wife and is trying to make it look like she committed suicide. We have two people walking our streets here in Orlando who are covering up the murder of their granddaughter. We KNOW these things. What do we do? What can we do?

  27. Red Ranger says:

    Hey MJH, From what they said, the shed seems to have vanished late last year. You know, a few months after LE should have been there arresting this guy. Had they pounced on him when notified and the evidence was handed to them, Somer may be watching Sponge Bob today.

    Two other things…

    1. I want to be sure everyone knows I am not Red from Scared Monkeys. I would not want any credit he so richly desrves.

    2. Love the new format.

  28. Susan says:

    I am an attorney who has been trying to help an employer/client to get LE in our state to take seriously several child porn images employer/client found on a fired employee’s computer. It is like pulling teeth to get them to admit that it is child porn (one image clearly is a young boy giving oral sex to an adult male) and to get LE to take any action against the guy who downloaded the images. LE has said, “well, we can’t tell the age of the kid because there is only one image and we don’t know who the kid is.” Are you kidding me? Frustrating! I have heard that when there are several images, LE will actually call in a medical doctor to make an assessment of the age in order to get probably cause for a search warrant.
    But if there isn’t enough child porn, apparently, that is not worth their time? Another excuse by LE here was that the child himself was not depicted as nude. The child was performing oral sex so only his very small face and shoulders were visible, but you could clearly see the adult penis. Our state clearly has a long way to go to protect children from these soul-less pigs, but you know, so does the world. Sex trade is a big business and the internet market for child pornography has made amature producers of every person out there with pedophile tendancies and a web cam. There would be no child porn if there was no demand. And while I love the internet for a million reasons, the kiddie porn industry has grown because of it. And while I love the first amendment for a million reasons, I’d give up some of my freedom to publish whatever comes out of my head to ensure that certain materials that come out of sicker heads than mine cannot be shared through electronic media.

    Utter BS. Give me your state info and I will get you an FBI contact pronto. Are you representing this person or the employer? I will keep private.

  29. Boz says:

    Here’s another one Billiejean. Jaycee Dugard will not be left alone. We KNOW these creeps are guilty. WTF! What can we do? They held her captive for what 18 years?

    From CNN:
    The Garridos were charged with her abduction, and Phillip Garrido, 58, is also charged with sexually abusing her. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

    Prosecutors allege that Phillip Garrido’s attorneys are attempting to contact Dugard, and she wants nothing to do with them. They contend he has been trying to send a signal to her not to cooperate.

    It is clear that the defendant is attempting to use the media and his own attorneys to continue to control [her].

    –James Clinchard, deputy district attorney

    “It is clear that the defendant is attempting to use the media and his own attorneys to continue to control [her],” Deputy District Attorney James Clinchard wrote in the court filing. The prosecutor repeatedly referred to Dugard as “Jane Doe” or “Ms. Doe.”

    BLINK: My heart hurts for Somer’s family too!

  30. mjh says:

    Thanks Red — that’s what I thought. Why weren’t they right on top of this guy? People gave them his name, they knew his history, and he was living right there. They should have been all over this guy and that property. WTH?

  31. NYCDude says:

    Hey Blink, can you comment on the environment, for lack of a better term, surroinding this case? Answer in private if the comment is considered derrogatory towards LE which is not my intent.

    Here in NYC, a “person of interest” might be noted by LE to the media, but I’d say 99.999999% of the time, they would only go public with a POI’s name if they were reasonably sure they have the right guy.

    Do you think the Florida cops are desperate for some news in this case that they would go public with this development merely on the circumstantial merits, or do you think they have something solid on this guy and they’re building on it…

    I think they have physical evidence to tie him to the crime. I pray to god there are no images of this baby on his new computer.

  32. NYCDude says:


    You and I both…

    This guy’s computer was turned in in AUGUST…



  33. suz says:

    Oh, that is incredibly sad that he was not arrested at once. Wow. I would not be able to let go of that if I were the grieving parent. Haunting.

  34. jvrmemory says:

    It makes me sick to think this is the last face Somer had to see. He looks like pure evil! I can’t believe he wasn’t arrested for the child porn turned in by his roomate in August. It absolutely makes my stomach turn to know this could of been prevented. My prayers go out to Somer’s family, and I hope they find closure and can begin to heal. God bless you Somer!

  35. oblio says:

    I went up on WS last night to see if this guy’s name ever came up during their conversations…didn’t look like it although I may have missed it.

    I have to say that I am proud of the roommate and her mom and dad for turning this guy’s computer in. Good for them! They must have gotten a major bad feeling about this guy, and they were right to act on it. The Gift of Fear! Too bad LE didn’t step up and take action, though. I wonder how they’re going to explain that.

    I think this story really illustrates how we are ALL responsible for eachothers safety. Stand up, speak up, don’t talk yourself out of your gut feelings. Maybe we’ll have a chance someday to prevent such a horrible thing from happening again.

    RIP Somer.

  36. kyrasmommy says:

    #33 I was thinking the same thing, how scary he looks…Imagine how frightened she was! OMG poor baby

  37. Billiejean says:

    Boz , thank you for your reply , I know what you are saying , but sometimes I can not stand it any more when I see these beautiful little innocents abused and murdered and thrown away like they are nothing , when they are everything , and I am afraid to think what the families have to suffer , and then when we find out , that they were known to offend or were acting strange or other people kinda sorta knew they were not O.k., then I get so angry , and like you said the snake in the woods stopped the search of those woods , and then you call again and you become the object of ridicule , it is a topsy turvy world we live in , but guess what we care Blink cares and I know you do ,and we will always care , I am so glad the roommate did the right thing ,he is so creepy and I cannot stop thinking how terrified she must have been , I feel very sad today for Somer and her family God Bless all of you that care for the wee ones .

  38. orangeparkgirl says:

    As relieved as I am that this awful story may have it’s ending, it bothers me that given recent statements from friends of his family and neighbors that he was not found or questioned sooner, that he was given time to move from Orange Park, to Callahan, to Mississippi.

    The roommate’s parents who went with their daughter to turn in the computer Harrell had at their apartment in August noticed his car outside the Gano home a few days after Somer was found and alerted police of their concerns. (http://jacksonville.com/community/clay/2010-02-12/story/man_of_interest_in_somer_thompson_slaying_in_mississippi_court_next_) Maybe something is not being said, maybe he was questioned then, but I know they were knocking on SO’s doors to talk to them, wouldn’t someone with reported child pornography on their computer be a red flag? I feel like it just gave this creep time to cover his tracks- including possibly knocking down the shed in the backyard as someone above mentioned.

    A neighbor who’s daughter walked home with Somer said Somer used to stop to pet a dog in front of the Gano home. Maybe this is how she was lured to Harrell that day?

    “He would just sit there and wave at everybody, act like he was a friendly little dude,” said Sandra Russell, who lives across the street. “But he was really, really, really strange.”

    Another neighbor said the only time she saw Harrell outside was when the elementary school children were nearby.

    “I noticed the only time he’d come out and smoke cigarettes were when the kids were out of school,” Connie Torres told Channel 4′s Melanie Lawson.


    What a creep. My heart hurts for Somer and her family

  39. Boz says:

    Utter BS. Give me your state info and I will get you an FBI contact pronto. Are you representing this person or the employer? I will keep private.

    Good luck Blink. I hope you get him!

  40. Boz says:

    They found the shed 30 miles away at another house and are searching it now.

    Thanks Boz, I just got off the phone about that a bit ago.

    Nightmare, all I can say.

  41. Iknow says:

    Blink, it starts. I don’t understand why Sheriff Belser is claiming the porn was in his county, it wasn’t, clearly Duvall County. JSO did the right thing and turned it over to the AG’s crime task force. A lawyer for this PERP is going to be able to tear this case apart.

    The real question IS: How long did Clay County wait to act after they ran the tag of this guy at the Gano house per the request of the young lady who spotted his car at his parents home? That needs to be answered. I know LE is overworked and underpaid..but…they always need to be straight with the public.

    Attorney General’s Office: No Indication Harrell Was Connected to Somer Case
    February 12th, 2010 radio Leave a comment Go to comments
    Florida’s Attorney General’s office says Clay County authorities made no effort to fast-track the child porn investigation of the man now named as a person of interest in the kidnapping and killing of Somer Thompson.


    This is a nightmare.

  42. Iknow says:

    Blink, Also, about Child porn. Someone posted a video of an infant’s backside with a black lace bra on his bottom, making it appear that it was a set of boobs. As the 15 sec video ends you see a baby laying flat on his stomach and he looks miserable.

    I jumped on the Facebook highway and saw all this persons friends had pictures of babies dressed in adult clothes, etc, looked very suspect and odd. The language was arabic.

    I contacted FACEBOOK immediately and reported as child porn as the pose seemed to be enticement related. I also contacted the Tip Line at the Missing Children’s web site…and that video was still up the last time I checked.

    The woman who posted it on Facebook thought it was cute and funny. I started to tell her to remove it but decided to let the authorties handle it. I am no so sure they did. Haven’t looked lately to see if it is gone. But, just so you know…LE is not exactly jumping on this stuff as much as we would hope.

  43. Arden says:

    Why is he JUST NOW being arrested for child pornography? SIX MONTHS ago his computer was turned over with prepubescent child porn on it, why did it take law enforcement 6 months to arrest him? I am completely sick to my stomach to know that he may be the monster who raped and murdered Sommer and it could had been prevented if he would have been behind bars where he belonged! Florida needs to start doing a better job of protecting our innocent children from these sick monsters. This is unacceptable!

  44. lily says:

    Billiejean says:
    February 12, 2010 at 1:10 am

    … and to anybody out there that thinks that somebody is not quite square around children , do the right thing ,watch them , report them , do something, you were a child once upon a time …

    I agree with this statement with all my heart. Trust your intuition. When it doesn’t feel right – it just may not be right! Talk to your neighbors and family members openly about your doubts. Report suspicious behavior – let’s keep a closer eye on not just our own children but all of the little ones around us! Let’s face it – people that do this aren’t to be protected and you always hear after they’re caught – I knew something wasn’t right. Right now someone has expressed doubt about a situation and needs to follow up on their instincts. I’m tired of these freaks hiding behind their ‘rights’. It might be your own brother, uncle, neighbor! Don’t look the other way just because its uncomfortable. Its doesn’t compare to the nightmare of having a child’s innocence stripped away or a mother going through unimaginable hell.

  45. mjh says:

    #40 — Thanks Boz. I was thinking that he tore it down and burned it. Although it should have been searched a long time ago, at least it has not been destroyed. Probably washed, painted, etc., though. What a damn shame. Evidence lost, I am sure.

    #41 — Thank you for this link. How crazy is that? This IS a nightmare.

    After the good work of the one LEO who suggested they follow the trash tucks, what the hell happened?

  46. Susan says:

    Utter BS. Give me your state info and I will get you an FBI contact pronto. Are you representing this person or the employer? I will keep private.
    I live in Nebraska and represent the employer who discovered the porn on former ee’s computer. After LE wouldn’t do anything, I turned it over to our state’s FBI. But the guy is still free and it has been over two months since our initial report to LE, over a month since the report to FBI. I can only assume there is a backlog.

    Good work.

    I will suggest to you that in this instances, it may be that they are more interested in a ring vs. an individual if that makes sense.

  47. Iknow says:

    Blink, the parent of the girl who turned in the computer said in an interview today that the Perp’s Father is a convicted sex offender.


    Yes, he is.
    So you have a recently moved registered SO, confiscated porn, and a dead child. In that order.
    I am at a loss.

  48. Sdb says:

    I’ve read in news reports (numerous) they had found child erotica on his computer.

    There is no such thing as child erotica. WTH? It just infuriates me. Children are not erotic.

    Children want to swing and color with crayons and eat cookies.

    The press acts like we all know what child erotica is.

  49. Iknow says:

    No Blink, you misunderstood. The Perps Father is a convicted sex offender. Harrell’s Father is,…His Step Father owned the house on Gano with his Mom. Harrell had one weed charge and he got it NP…and some traffic infractions.

    I don’t know what his name is but believe it was said he lived in Mississippi. I guess this creepy stuff is in the genes in this case.

  50. sassy says:

    blink while reading up on this latest information i ran across where a teacher had warn ms thompson about letting those three kids walk to and from school along after they became lost last year and was found in woods with a stranger when it continued she called fds and was told to find good transportation for the kids trying to find it again

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