ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Action News talks exclusively with Somer Thompson's mother about her story airing on America's Most Wanted.
During the first few days of Somer's disappearance, Diena Thompson was outside the memorial at her house every night, singing with neighbors, and praying for her little girl to come home. Even now, you can still see it in her eyes that she hasn't slept much, and there's been a lot of tears. She showed remarkable strength talking about what happened to her family.
"It just feels like one extremely long day," said Diena Thompson. "I just want someone to catch this guy."
That's why she's turning to America's Most Wanted. Her daughter's story will air on the show this weekend. She just hopes it brings in that one big tip that will lead to an arrest.
"Somebody knows something. I want to catch this person," said Diena.
Somer was on her way home from school when she disappeared and was found in a landfill two days later. Every time Diena thinks about it, it brings tears to her eyes.
"It breaks my heart," said Diena.
Diena can't help but blame herself for what happened. "I'm a single mother and made $14 an hour. I did what I had to do and now I have to live the rest of my life feeling like I played a roll in this," she said.
Now, she has to take care of her other children. Diena says the worst thing now is not knowing. "That's the closure I need and I'll get the answers I don't have now," she said.
Diena will always keep her daughter close to her heart, wearing a necklace with her picture and another, saying "You are my sunshine." She has a new fierceness in her voice and a strong message to a killer.
"I refuse to let this person win, and get the best of me, so we will find him and get him and he will face his day," she said.
Diena also has some advice for all parents. "Tell your kids you love them, and give them that extra hug." She says you never know when something will change.
There is a fundraiser for Somer on Sunday. There's a benefit ride starting at the Love 2 Ride in Green Cove Springs and food being cooked up at Buffalo's Southwest Café. It goes from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It costs 10 dollars for the whole day.