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New clues uncovered in 1993 slaying

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office has scheduled a news conference for this morning to pass along what it calls "new information" concerning the unsolved 1993 kidnapping and slaying of 12-year-old Jennifer Odom.

According to a Sheriff's Office press release, the department's cold case investigation unit met recently with members of the FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, which investigates and maintains an extensive database of child abductions, serial murders, rapes and other violent crimes.

The news conference, which will be attended by members of Odom's family, will focus on relaying to the public recently gathered information, and will serve as a reminder that the case is still being actively investigated by law enforcement authorities, the Sheriff's Office said. A family video of Jennifer, taken just before her death, will be shown.

Odom disappeared Feb. 19, 1993, after stepping off a school bus near her home in rural Pasco County. A Hernando County couple discovered her body a week later on a horse trail in a Spring Lake orange grove. Authorities determined that she died from head trauma.

In 1995, a book bag and clarinet case belonging to Jennifer were discovered in a vacant lot north of Spring Hill, about 12 miles from where her body was found.

Though authorities considered it a significant find, the items provided few useful clues.

Authorities said they are hopeful the new information they reveal today will spark renewed interest in the investigation, and that the spotlight will help persuade anyone with information to contact law enforcement officials.