Divers search Lake Jovita for new clues in Jennifer Odom case - WFLA News Channel 8

Divers search Lake Jovita for new clues in Jennifer Odom case

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PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The Hernando County Sheriff confirmed Tuesday that detectives were working new leads in the 20-year-old unsolved murder of Jennifer Odom.

Jennifer Odom was last seen alive getting off her school bus on February 19th, 1993.

Other children on the school bus reported seeing a suspicious pickup truck in the area when she got off the bus, but an intense search at the time failed to find her killer.

Jennifer's body was discovered six days after she vanished in Hernando County.

Following up on hundreds of leads, divers spent part of Tuesday near the shores of Lake Jovita looking for new evidence in the cold case.

Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said, "We have been working several different angles on this case since I assigned a detective full time to this investigation. We are, of course, hopeful that this is the break in this case that we have been waiting for. Unfortunately, it will be some time before we can even determine if this operation yields evidence of a crime and even longer to determine if there will be evidence useful to us in this particular case."

In February of this year, the sheriff assigned a full time major case detective to take a fresh look at the case. Sheriff Neinhuis said this was no easy task.

Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis says it's a case he can't forget about. Nienhuis says, "When somebody is that young, you know that there is nothing they did to bring this on and that makes it that much more heart wrenching when you're not able to solve it."

The sheriff hopes that after 20 years, the murder will be bothering someone's conscience or that over time, relationships have changed and that someone who was afraid to call in, will call in now.

A spokesperson for the Hernando County Sheriff's office will only say that divers are looking for a "large" item in Lake Jovita. 

The dive team is from Pasco county, The FBI is also at the scene.

The investigation crossed county lines from the very beginning.

Jennifer's home was in Pasco County. The Hernando County Sheriff's office became involved when her body was discovered in a wooded area just across the county line.

Over the years, investigators from both counties have been involved in the search for her killer.

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