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Missing Child’s Body Found in Georgia Landfill

FOLKSTON, Ga. - The Clay County, Fla., sheriff had a message for the person responsible for the death of the young girl pulled from a landfill Wednesday afternoon: "I don't want to tell that suspect what we are doing. I will tell him this: We are coming to get him."

Sheriff Rick Beseler announced Wednesday afternoon that a young, white child was discovered in the Chesser Island Landfill in Folkston, Ga., during a routine part of the search for Somer Thompson.

"The body of a small child has been found," Beseler said at a news conference. "This is a rapidly unfolding matter."

Somer, 7, has been missing for two days after disappearing on her way home from school. Since then, the Orange Park, Fla., community where she lives has mobilized, handing out flowers, holding vigils and caring for her family.

An identification may not come until Thursday morning. The medical examiner in Georgia will do an autopsy in Savannah on Thursday.

Beseler said law enforcement has switched to a "criminal investigation" rather than a search and recovery. There is only, "one chance to do an investigation correctly," emphasizing that the process was painstaking.

At an evening news conference, state attorney Angela Corey said that the office knew how important it was for Somer's family to know the identity of the body.

"We're doing everything possible to identify the body to assist the family," she said, adding that she did not foresee any problems stemming from the fact that this is a inter-state case. "(Somer's mother) will get her answers, I assure you, when we can give them to her."

She declined to talk a lot about the investigation and where it goes from here.

Trash from Clay County where Somer disappeared is dumped in the Georgia landfill. Clay County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Dan Mahla said it is unclear whether the trash where the body was found was dumped Wednesday morning or Tuesday. The landfill search started Tuesday.

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