6-year-old found dead in abandoned house

Nov. 22, 2012 at 9:10 AM
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BENTONVILLE, Ark., Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Arkansas police said they found the body of a slain 6-year-old girl whose father made headlines last year when he admitted to chaining her to a dresser.

Bentonville police said in a news release that Jersey Bridgeman was reported missing Tuesday and her body was found shortly after in an abandoned home, two houses away from where she lived.

Police said they searched the abandoned house, the house where she lived and the one in between the two.

Her body was sent to the state crime lab in Little Rock to determine the cause and time of death, although police suspect she died sometime between midnight and 6:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, KHBS-KHOG-TV, Fort Smith, Ark., reported Wednesday.

The girl's father, David Bridgeman, and step-mother, Jana Bridgeman, have been in prison since December 2011 on felony charges of permitting the abuse of a minor, endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree and false imprisonment in the first degree. The couple admitted to chaining Jersey to a dresser in their home, the news station reported.

Jersey's mother, DesaRae Bridgeman, had primary custody of the girl, although police said the 6-year-old had been living with a "relative" when she went missing.

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