Back in October 2009,Â Diena Thompsonâ€™s seven-year-old daughter Somer, was kidnapped by monsterÂ Jarred Harrel, and brought back to his home, where he viciously sexually assaulted her. To cover up his crime, he then murdered the girl, and dumped her in a Georgia landfill.
The 24-year-old was eventuallyÂ sentenced to life, after being convicted on a plethora of charges, including first-degree murder, kidnapping, sexual battery, and lewd and lascivious conduct.
After Harrell went to prison, the home and site of where the grisly crime took place became vacant. Eventually going into foreclosure, the bank transferred ownership of the house to an organization set up by Somer’s mother,Â the Somer Thompson Foundation, who then donated it to the local fire department for a training exercise.
On Thursday, Diena made one last trip back to the home, accompanied by the fire department, where she was given the ultimate satisfaction of torching the home, where her daughter met her untimely fate.
As the mother tossed the flare into one of the windows of the home, she could be heard saying,
â€œBurn, baby, burn!â€
In a way, it gave the mother a sense of closure against the man who committed such a vicious act against her young child.
â€œI get to burn their house down,â€ Diena said. â€œIâ€™m the big bad wolf this time knocking down your door, not the other way around.â€
â€œItâ€™s really nice to know that Iâ€™m not ever going to have to drive in this neighborhood again and see this piece of trash,â€ she added.
Diena was accompanied to the house the day before she torched it, where firefighters let her unleash her frustration into the walls with an ax, where she destroyed everything she could.
â€œI wanted to throw myself into the walls. I wanted to hurt the house, but I know I canâ€™t hurt an inanimate place with my body,â€ she said. â€œBut it felt good at the same time.â€
After about an hour, the flames completely consumed the house, burning it to the ground. FireÂ Chief Ty Silcox, who oversaw the exercise, hopes the destroyed home can in some way give satisfaction to the grieving mother.
â€œMaybe it will help her heal a little bit,â€ he said.
Locals in the community agreed that destroying the house and the painful reminder was the best thing that could have happened.
â€œI think itâ€™s a symbolic day where the mother of that poor little girl will get some closure,â€ neightborÂ Bob Hatanpa. â€œItâ€™s an ugly eyesore and a reminder of what went on. Iâ€™m so glad this day has come.â€
Diena said that while burning the home to the ground felt good, it also brought back memories of her daughter.
â€œIt [the house] just represents pure evil,â€ she said. â€œThe devil was in there.â€
â€œThere will never be closure,â€ she added. â€œIt will never be over. But I definitely feel like it will be part of the healing process, not just for myself but for the entire community just not to have to look at that hellhole.â€
Diena, along withÂ The Somer Thomas Foundation, plans to turn the lot into something positive for the community.
While this will never bring back her daughter, it’s wonderful this mother was able to get some sense of satisfaction watching the flames consume the house that was the site of so much evil and pain.
H/T [News4 Jax]