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1993 Kidnapping of 12-year-old Girl in Florida; Authorities Identified the Suspect After 30 years

Authorities in Florida claim that they have identified the persons responsible for the 1993 kidnapping, murder, and body-dumping of a student after 30 years.

Jeffrey Norman Crum murdered Jennifer Odom, 12, and abandoned her body in an orange grove, authorities said. (Source:Mugshot of Crum: Hernando County Jail; image of Jennifer: Hernando County Sheriff’s Office)

Suspect of Kidnapping Now Faces Multiple Charges

From the report of Law&Crime, according to court documents, Jeffrey Norman Crum, 61, is accused of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and sexual battery on a victim 12 or older. In Hernando County, Florida, deputies and prosecutors assert that he is responsible for the savage killing of 12-year-old Jennifer Odom.

Crum, a sex offender who had previously been convicted, was already serving a life sentence in jail for two counts of sexual assault using a weapon or force. He is now detained at the Hernando County Jail without posting a bond. Prosecutors stated that Crum had previously been found guilty and given a life sentence in Pasco County for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old female on January 16, 1992. The facts and circumstances in that instance were substantially similar to those in this case.

Brief History of the Kidnapping

On February 19, 1993, in Pasco County, according to prior reports from the authorities, Odom was kidnapped after getting off her school bus. The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office reported in 2022 that the woman may have been being followed by a full-size faded blue pickup truck that was seen slowly following her as she walked from the bus stop to her house.

Six days later, her body was discovered in an orange grove in Hernando County. Nearly two years later, in a rural area of western Hernando County, deputies discovered her bookbag and clarinet case. According to Denise Moloney, the sheriff’s media relations manager, Crum had a blue truck at the time of the kidnapping. Authorities worry Crum may be involved in more crimes given his former conviction and current case. They made a 1993 image of him public and asked anyone who recognized him from the 1980s or 1990s to get in touch.

Call (352) 754-6830 to speak with the cold case unit of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office appeals to anyone who interacted with Jeffrey Crum knows of any other crimes he may have committed, or who may have fallen victim to him to get in touch with them at any time.

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