The murder of 12 year old Jennifer Odom, who was abducted found dead in an orange grove in Hernando County, rocked our small community more than 20 years ago. Few details were released at the time and no arrests were ever made. For the last two decades the case has remained a complete mystery and haunted residents. But authorities have announced that they have FINALLY found a person of interest, Jeffery Norman Crum Sr.
Crum Sr. has been linked to another case involving the rape and beating of a 17 year old girl back in 1992 through DNA. Eerily similar to Odom’s case, the girl got off her school bus and headed down a dirt road when she was kidnapped, savagely assaulted, raped, and left for dead. DNA was gathered from the scene but the police had no suspects…until Jeffery Norman Crum II, Crum Sr.’s son, was sentenced for an armed robbery. When Jeffery’s DNA was entered into the state’s database they got a hit in the old Pasco County case but Jeffery would have been in elementary school at the time so detectives took voluntary DNA samples from his family members. His father was a DNA match for the Pasco case. It’s Florida’s first case relying on familial DNA. Crum was arrested and charged with attempted felony murder and sexual battery with a deadly weapon. His trial for that case is coming up and he has already served time for sexual assault and kidnapping in another case, back in 1987. The similarities between the 17 year old girl’s case and Odom’s have detectives taking a look at him for Jennifer’s murder.
Additional details about this story can be found on WTSP 10 News here.