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Neighbour arrested in killing of Arkansas girl

Published: Tuesday November 27, 2012 | 9:10 am Comments 0

(AP) — A neighbour has been arrested as a suspect in the killing of a 6-year-old Arkansas girl, whose high-profile child abuse case last year sent her father and stepmother to prison, said police.

Jersey Bridgeman was reported missing the morning of November 20, minutes after a search for her began, Jersey's body was discovered in an abandoned house two doors from her home in Bentonville.

Zachary Holly, 28, who lives next door to where Jersey was staying, is being held in the Benton County Jail on charges of capital murder, kidnapping and residential burglary., n said Monday night.

Police chief Jon Simpson said Holly will have a bail and probable cause hearing Wednesday, during which a probable cause affidavit will be released. At that point, "many questions related to this investigation and arrest will be answered.

He did not release details of how Jersey died or what led police to Holly.

Simpson said work by the State Crime Lab helped speed the arrest.

Jersey's short life was checkered with discomfort. About a year before her death, her father and stepmother were charged with abuse after investigators discovered they had chained her to a dresser to stop her wandering around the house at night.

David Bridgeman, Jersey's father, told investigators he restrained his daughter to prevent her from getting into medication and other things around the house.

David and Jana Bridgeman, Jersey's stepmother, pleaded guilty in June to false imprisonment, permitting abuse of a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor.

Jersey's stepmother is serving a 12-year prison sentence, plus three years for a probation revocation, while David Bridgeman is serving an 18-year prison sentence.

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