Jarred Harrell was recently sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after he pleaded guilty to kidnapping, raping, and then murdering a 7-year-old girl in Florida.
Harrell, 26, managed to escape the death penalty.
The girl, Somer Thompson, was a second-grader who lived in a suburb south of Jacksonville. She disappeared while walking home from school on Oct. 19, 2009. Thompson was with her sister and a couple of friends, but she had run ahead of them after they had all gotten into an argument. The route that she took home was one she used everyday, and she often would stop at a home to pet a white dog. At this particular house, there normally was no one outside, however, that day Harrell lured her into the home that he shared with his mother.
Two days after her disappearance, Thompson was discovered in a landfill in southern Georgia. Harrell hadn’t been arrested until three months after her death, as police originally suspected a convicted sex offender to have killed the girl.
The police discovered Harrell was the murderer when they decided to sort through the garbage cans of those who lived in Thompson’s neighborhood. They happened to find her legs in Harrell’s trashcan.
Harrell moved to Mississippi to live with his aunt after Thompson vanished. He was constantly moving because his roommates in Florida had kicked him our over stealing and discovering child pornography on his computer.
Harrell confessed to sexually molesting, killing, and asphyxiating Thompson, then disposing of her body. DNA evidence has also linked him to the crime.
Harrell has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, kidnapping, sexual battery, possession of child pornography and other sex charges, which come from an unrelated case involving a relative, who was only 3.