School officials: Ark. girl joyful despite abuse

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Jersey Bridgeman endured a lot in her young life, including abuse at the hands of her father and stepmother, but school officials say she was still a happy little girl.

Now, authorities are trying to figure out who killed 6-year-old Jersey after the kindergartner's body was found in a vacant house this week in the northwest Arkansas city of Bentonville.

Jersey's father and stepmother are in prison for chaining her to a dresser last year.

Mary Ley, communications director for Bentonville schools, says Jersey had been through a lot but was still a joyful child.

Police have said they're investigating Jersey's death as a homicide, but they won't say how she died. They haven't arrested anyone in connection with her death.

Bentonville is about 215 miles northwest of Little Rock.

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