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Neighbors: Ark. man arrested in girl's death cried

Associated Press Modified: November 28, 2012 at 12:01 am •  Published: November 27, 2012
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Next door, a child's bike with training wheels lay in front of the house where police said Jersey lived with her mother, DesaRae Bridgeman. Nearby was a deflated balloon decorated with the kinds of princesses that fill little girls' dreams.

Less than a mile away, Jersey's family buried the little girl who lived through more than her share of hardship. Police said the family requests privacy as they grieve.

Jersey's death comes after her father and stepmother chained the girl to a dresser last year. David Bridgeman told investigators he restrained his daughter to prevent her from getting into medication and other things around the house in nearby Rogers.

David Bridgeman and Jersey's stepmother, Jana Bridgeman, pleaded guilty in June to false imprisonment, permitting abuse of a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor. She is serving a 12-year prison sentence, plus three years for a probation revocation. He is serving an 18-year prison sentence.

Simpson, the police chief, said Holly worked at a restaurant in town called The Flying Burrito Company. The manager, Tabitha Stevens, confirmed that Holly worked there but declined to comment any further.

Simpson said many questions about the investigation will be answered when a probable cause affidavit is released Wednesday.

In the meantime, those who knew Jersey are remembering the little girl who was still joyful despite what was, by all indications, a difficult life.

"I don't know how she dealt with it, but she dealt with it and she still smiled the whole time," family friend Mike Whitcomb said.

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Follow Jeannie Nuss at http://twitter.com/jeannienuss