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Police in South Carolina are searching for a five-year-old girl with significant disabilities whose mother was found on Thanksgiving Day.
Aspen Jeter, her mother, Crystal Jumper, and her father, Antar Jeter, lived together, but father and daughter were nowhere to be found when police discovered Jumper's body in their home in Orangeburg, South Carolina in an "advanced stage of decomposition" last week.
Police responded to the residence after Jumper's cousin called authorities and said she hadn't heard from Jumper since Nov. 1, according to Columbia Fox affiliate WACH and a Monday statement from the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office. She allegedly told police that Jumper and the child's father did not get along well.
It is unclear how long the woman's body went undiscovered. The Orangeburg County Sheriff's Department did not return requests for comment by Oxygen.com.
The girl's family identified Jumper to Columbia NBC affiliate WIS, and said that, due to a rare disability, Aspen Jeter is unable to walk or talk.
“She’s a sweet little baby and we just want her home,” Aspen's uncle, Pauley Jumper, told the outlet. “She’s not able to walk, she can’t talk. So just everybody pray that we get her home.”
Family members told the outlet that the Jumper was a good mother, but they could not bring themselves to make funeral arrangements until her daughter has been located.
The Orangeburg County Sheriff's Department urged anyone with information to come forward.
"If you have any information in the whereabouts of this child, please let us know," Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said in the department's Monday statement. "You don't have to give your name, but just give us what you know."
The Orangeburg County Coroner plans conduct Jumper's autopsy later this week, and has yet to release the deceased mother's cause of death. However, police are investigating the incident as a possible murder.
Orangeburg City Councilman Jerry Hannah said in a statement to WACH that it was "so heartbreaking to know that this was a holiday, and this person was found dead."
"Let's hope, the child is in good health," he added. "Let's hope whoever has them is caring for that child and hasn't abused that child."
The sheriff's office urges anyone with information about Jumper's death or Aspen Jeter's location to call them at 803-534-3550 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC.
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