No new clues in Jennifer Odom murder case - WFLA News Channel 8

No new clues in Jennifer Odom murder case

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Eagle 8 aerial shot of Lake Jovita, where dive teams were searching for clues Eagle 8 aerial shot of Lake Jovita, where dive teams were searching for clues

For two days, dive teams from the FBI and Pasco County Sheriff's office searched the bottom of Lake Jovita.

They were looking for evidence in a 20-year-old murder mystery.

The Hernando County Sheriff's office, which has led the investigation from the beginning, says the search turned up nothing.

In February of 1993, 12-year-old Jennifer Odom got off of her school bus on the long driveway leading to the family home.

Her classmates on the school bus say they saw a blue pick up truck lingering in the area.

Jennifer was never seen alive again by her family or friends. Six days later, her body was discovered just across the county line, in Hernando County, not far from her Pasco County home.

Her murder affected the small community where she lived.

Mary Epperson, who has lived in the area her entire life says, "It affected the community in a way, it rocked us.  It shook us up and made us feel like you can't leave your kid at your own driveway anymore."

Hundreds of volunteers turned out to search for Jennifer when she was reported missing.

Hundreds more packed the small church for her funeral.

Epperson says the community put a marker at Jennifer's school.

"They had a stone put there that said, "never walk alone" and it kind of made us feel, 'Wow, you can't even leave your kid at the end of the driveway'," said Epperson.  "You've got to drive at the end of the driveway and watch them get on the bus and watch them come home. It hit that close to home."

When the dive teams began searching Lake Jovita for new evidence, it was troubling for some.

One man who lives near the search said it just brought up bad memories, he wished it would go away.  Others like Epperson want answers.

"I think for a lot of people around here would feel more at ease knowing this is resolved," Epperson said.  "It has bothered everybody I know. Everybody who is local here has said, wonder what happened."

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office says the dive teams found nothing in Lake Jovita relevant to the Odom case, but a full time detective is assigned to the investigation and is still following leads.


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