The "all-out search" for Somer came to an abrupt halt when police announced the discovery of a young child's body in a Georgia landfill on Oct. 21, 2009.
Based on a distinctive birthmark and a description of the child's clothing, the body was identified as that of missing 7-year-old Somer Thompson.
Somer disappeared on Monday, Oct. 19, 2009 while walking home from school.
Detectives followed garbage trucks from Somer's neighborhood to the landfill, just over the Georgia border.
Cops say the body was in one of them.
An autopsy was performed by a Georgia medical examiner, who was able to positively identify her through medical records.
Cops notified Somer's mother of the discovery.
"Needless to say, she was devastated. It was the hardest phone call I've ever had to make in my life, and I hope I never have to make another one like that," Clay County, Fla., Sheriff Rick Beseler said.
Police said that finding the body so quickly increased the chances of finding the person responsible.
"There is a child killer on the loose and that's why we're gonna catch this person and bring them to justice," Sheriff Beseler said. "I fear for our community until we bring this person in. This is a heinous crime that's been committed and we are going to work as hard as we can to make this community safe."
Hundreds of friends, family and supporters gathered around Somer's mother, Diena Thompson as she grieved at a vigil on Wednesday night.
The crowd sang Somer's favorite song, "You Are My Sunshine."
"I love her and I'll miss her and she's a twin and I don't know how it's going to affect him, but I know how it's affecting me," Diena said.