- Associated Press - Friday, August 8, 2014

GULFORT, Miss. (AP) - A Memphis-based civil rights group plans a candlelight vigil Saturday night in front of the vacant mobile home where 5-year-old Ja’Naya (juh-NAY-uh) Thompson was found dead.

The Rev. Wendol Lee, founder of Operation Help Civil Rights Group, told The Sun Herald (https://bit.ly/1msoLxA) the group wants to show its support to her family, raise awareness of child safety and make sure justice is done.

“We’re not just coming to protest. We’re bringing our own investigators. We might be able to find out information that could help police. There may be people out there with information that will talk to us that wouldn’t talk to police,” Lee said.

Thompson was found strangled July 17. Police believe she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted. Police have arrested a man in the child’s death.

Alberto Julio Garcia, 29, is charged with capital murder. He is being held without bond in the Harrison County jail. Authorities said Garcia also is accused of burglarizing the same mobile home days before Ja’Naya’s disappearance and death.

A preliminary hearing for Garcia is set for Aug. 29.

Gulfport Police Sgt. Damon McDaniel said the case remains an active investigation.

“We are still investigating every lead,” he said.


Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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