Authorities probing death of 6-year-old Arkansas girl question sex offenders in hunt for killer
Arkansas authorities are questioning registered sex offenders in their investigation into the death of a 6-year-old girl, whose body was found Tuesday in a vacant home not far from where she lived with her mother.
Bentonville Police Captain Justin Thompson told FoxNews.com that no suspects or persons of interests have been named in the killing of Jersey Bridgeman. But he said police detectives and FBI agents are interviewing several known sex offenders in the area as they hunt for the child's killer.
"Obviously anyone close to this girl is someone we're going to look at now," Thompson said Friday.
Jersey was living with her biological mother, DesaRae Bridgeman, at her home in Bentonville, about 215 miles northwest of Little Rock. The girl had previously lived with her father, David Bridgeman, and stepmother, Jana Bridgeman, who are both serving prison terms for chaining Jersey to a dresser last year.
DesaRae Bridgeman told police she last saw her daughter when she put her to bed around midnight on Tuesday. She reported the girl missing around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, when she was not found in her room, authorities said.
Within 10 minutes, police found the child's body inside an abandoned home about 200 feet away, according to Thompson. The abandoned house belongs to a New York couple who are not considered suspects, he said.
Thompson said an autopsy has been completed, but he declined to release the cause of death, saying only that the case is being investigated as a homicide.
"The investigation in its entirety so far has led us to believe this is a homicide," he said.
Thompson declined to say who, besides Jersey's mother, was living in the home at the time of her disappearance. He said there were no signs of forced entry.
Investigators are appealing to the public for any information related to the girl's death.
"If they have any details -- big or small -- they really should call us," Thompson told FoxNews.com.
Anyone with any information on the crime is being urged to call the Bentonville Police Department at 479-271-3170