Somer Thompson: Man Arrested for Child Porn Also Accused of Killing Girl

Pictures: 7-year-old Somer Thompson found dead Pictures: 7-year-old Somer Thompson found dead

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ORANGE PARK, Fla. (AP) — The man accused of killing Somer Thompson, who vanished while walking home from school in north Florida, told police he was with his mother at her home the afternoon investigators say the girl died there, according to police reports and other records.

But the records also show that Jarred Harrell’s mother told him she’d provide his alibi during a jail phone call, The Florida Times-Union reported.

The records released Thursday mostly involve unrelated child pornography charges against Harrell, but also included new details about the 7-year-old girl’s death.

Authorities redacted portions of Harrell’s statements to police, but the documents show he told police he was with his mother at her Orange Park house in the hours after Somer disappeared on her walk home from school. Her body was found in a Georgia landfill two days after she vanished.

Harrell’s mother told police she was with him at the home for an hour before they left the house, had dinner together and then split up.

But in a jail call between them months later in Mississippi, where he was arrested on the child pornography charges, she told her son she’d give him an alibi in Somer’s disappearance, the records show.

The State Attorney’s Office cited several public records exemptions for the redactions, including one protecting details of confessions.

Harrell, a 24-year-old unemployed restaurant worker, is being held without bail. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually assaulting and killing Somer in October.

Harrell was first jailed in Mississippi Feb. 11 on the child pornography charges. His roommates had told investigators in August they had kicked him out for stealing and they discovered child pornography.

The parents of one the roommates drove by Harrell’s parents’ home a few days after Somer disappeared and noticed how close they lived to the girl’s house. When they saw Harrell’s car in his parents’ driveway, they told detectives. According to the records, detectives first interviewed Harrell on Oct. 30 about Somer. They also searched the home and property, but they spotted nothing suspicious. No other details of the interview were included in the records.

A message left for Harrell’s attorney through a spokesman for the public defender’s office was not immediately returned Friday morning.

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