Police: Slain Ark. girl was suffocated, raped

Associated Press Modified: November 28, 2012 at 8:01 pm •  Published: November 28, 2012
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The document said Jersey's mother, DesaRae Bridgeman, told police she went next door to visit the couple after she came home from work around 11 p.m. on Nov. 19.

"Afterwards, Zachary Holly carried Jersey home to DesaRae's house, while DesaRae carried Jersey's younger sister, and they placed the two children in the same bed," Bentonville Detective Sgt. Kris Moffit wrote in the court document.

When DesaRae Bridgeman woke up the next morning, Jersey was missing from the bed where her 2-year-old sister was still sleeping, the court document said.

DesaRae Bridgeman looked around the house and then asked Zachary and Amanda Holly to help her before calling 911 to report Jersey missing, according to the court document.

Police searched the Bridgeman and Holly homes before an officer noticed the back door of a nearby vacant house was open. Officers entered the house and found the girl's body.

During an interview with authorities that day, Zachary Holly denied having anything to do with Jersey's disappearance or death, police said in the court document. They said he was cooperative and agreed to give detectives swabs of his check for DNA tests.

He also agreed to give detectives the clothes he wore the night before Jersey's body was found, according to the court document.

Bentonville Police Chief Jon Simpson didn't immediately return a phone message left Wednesday. Prosecutor Van Stone and public defender Jay Saxton declined to comment after Holly's hearing.

No one answered the door Tuesday at the mobile home where police say Holly and his wife lived, but Amanda Holly's family issued a statement through a lawyer Wednesday asking for privacy.

"Jersey was a very sweet girl who our children and grandchildren considered their best friend. Because of this, we ask for privacy. The children in our family are not dealing well with the loss of their friend," the family said.

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


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