I RECENTLY HAD the chance to visit the spot where Jennifer was abducted in Pasco County. I’ve always been a visual person so I wanted to actually go to the site she was taken from as well as the wooded area where her body was found in nearby Hernando County. I had hoped to get a better idea of what could have happened when that school bus pulled away, 25 years ago, leaving the 12-year-old to make her usual 200 yard walk home. The experience I ended up having in a few short hours was chilling to say the least…
AT THE TIME of her abduction, Jenny resided in the small rural community of St. Joseph. Jessamine is a long, winding 2 lane road that intersects Jim Denney, in fact, it’s the ONLY way to gain access. Where the 2 roads come together is marked by a row of mailboxes & a sign that announces “DEAD END”… It’s also the place that Jenny was dropped off at that day & the last known spot that she was seen alive.
SEEING THE AREA & forming impressions based on what I had already known actually helped me put together (at least in my mind) a scenario of how Jenny’s abduction may have taken place. Here’s what I think could have happened…Since there’s only one direction you can go on Jim Denney from Jessamine, I think Jenny got off the bus & made the right onto Jim Denney, crossing from the right side of the road to the left as her house sat on the left side. The blue truck was most likely sitting on the shoulder of Jessamine behind the bus, close enough to the intersection to act quickly BUT far enough back that it wouldn’t call much (if any) attention to itself.
Description Of The Pickup Truck
AS SHE WALKED east towards home & her school bus began to pull away, the blue pickup crept along the shoulder, possibly using the bus as cover. Believing he was out of view, he made the turn onto Jim Denney…He’s now positioned behind Jenny. According to statements from some of the kids still on the bus, we know that the bus did NOT offer complete obscurity like he thought.
I DON’T FEEL that the abductor ever exited the truck…Here’s why: As it would have taken just a few minutes to walk the 200 yards from bus stop to home, Only a small window would exist to carry out the abduction. There’s NO way to sneak up on someone in a vehicle as the road is unpaved & very rough. If he had gotten out & tried to grab her, it would have undoubtly startled her, giving her an opportunity to run… Either home OR to a neighbor’s house. Having grown up in the neighborhood, she’d have had the advantage. Given even the slightest head start, the outcome may have been very different. If she had been able to make the fork to the left, she would have practically been in front of her house & at that point I feel he would have panicked & gotten the hell out of there. My opinion is that he got as close as he could, remained inside of the vehicle, engine running & then got her to come to him by speaking to her through the vehicle’s open window. Maybe he somehow gained her trust enough that, though she might not be completely comfortable approaching, she felt it wouldn’t be too terribly dangerous to be polite & engage a total stranger in a brief conversation. Once there, he either made some type of threat OR showed/told her that he had a weapon. As a young girl, it wouldn’t require much to get her to enter the truck without a struggle.
**ANYONE WITH ANY INFO ON THE ABDUCTION & MURDER OF JENNIFER ODOM SHOULD CONTACT THE HERNANDO SHERIFF’S OFFICE AT:
PH: (352) 754-6830
Anonymous tips can be e-mailed at: www.HernandoCountyCrimeStoppers.com
OR by phone: 1-866-990-8477
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