Jennifer Odom: After 25 years, a mother’s grief and questions remain

Renee Converse, Jennifer Odom's mother, shares memories of Jennifer, inset, and the 25-year investigation into Jennifer's abduction and murder. Despite the passage of time, Hernando County Sheriff's Office continues to allocate resources to search for the killer of Jennifer, who was 12 years old when she went missing from her bus stop in 1993 and was found dead in an orange grove soon after. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
Renee Converse, Jennifer Odom's mother, shares memories of Jennifer, inset, and the 25-year investigation into Jennifer's abduction and murder. Despite the passage of time, Hernando County Sheriff's Office continues to allocate resources to search for the killer of Jennifer, who was 12 years old when she went missing from her bus stop in 1993 and was found dead in an orange grove soon after. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
Published March 14 2018
Updated March 18 2018

Renee Converse can still picture her 12-year-old daughter, slim and sun-kissed, waving goodbye out the back window of a Pasco County school bus. It was a Friday and the last time she would see her brown-eyed, firstborn girl.

A quarter-century after the murder of Jennifer Odom, her mother remembers how much she loved her Springer spaniel, Gypsy, and how she giggled with a gang of girlfriends while dressing up for a middle school dance.

Six days after she disappeared in 1993, detectives located Jennifer’s body — naked, facedown and severely decomposed in a Hernando County orange grove. Since then, they have amassed nearly 1,000 pieces of evidence, taken thousands of tips, done hundreds of interviews and clocked tens of thousands of hours building a case file 75,000 pages thick. They’ve questioned nearly 100 people of interest. As late as 2013, Hernando County assigned a deputy full-time to Jennifer’s case.

Still, nothing.

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