A "deceased female who had not been heard from since November 1" was found by police while doing a welfare check at their home.
Trigger Warning: This article mentions gun violence which some readers may find distressing.
A five-year-old South Carolina girl has been reported missing after her mother was discovered dead on Thanksgiving Day by police officers. The child was identified as Aspen Jeter and on Monday, the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office shared the little girl's picture on Facebook, announcing the ongoing search for her. According to PEOPLE, the police were requested to do a welfare check at a home in Orangeburg on November 24 and found a "deceased female who had not been heard from since November 1."
Authorities revealed that the deceased woman was identified as Aspen's mother but that child was nowhere to be found at the residence. In the social media post, Sheriff Leroy Ravenell urged people with relevant information to contact the authorities, stating: "If you have any information on the whereabouts of this child, please let us know. You don't have to give your name, but just give us what you know."
According to NBC affiliate WIS-TV, some new details have emerged about the case since then, with the family identifying the victim as Crystal Jumper. She was found dead laying on her bed with a gunshot when authorities arrived to conduct a welfare check. The grieving family members told reporters that they are currently focused on finding the missing child. Aspen’s uncle and Crystal's brother Pauley said: "She's a sweet little baby and we just want her home."
Pauley also revealed that the last time he spoke to his sister was on November 1, 2022, and said that this wasn't unusual as "she was a private person and mostly kept to herself." He added that it is imperative to find his niece as soon as possible as she has a rare disability. "She's not able to walk, she can't talk. We pray that we get her home," he said.
#AspenJeter | Here are more pictures of Aspen. Right now it is unclear when Aspen went missing. Mom has been found deceased on thanksgiving day and was last seen on Nov 1. Aspen doesn’t talk or walk. Please shared. She’s only 5yo. #FindAspenJeter pic.twitter.com/UzRWfwIEU3— 🤓L̤̮E̤̮G̤̮🅰️C̤̮Y̤̮🤓 (@iamlegacy23) November 27, 2022
According to WCSC, it was Crystal's cousin who reported that she had not heard from her and that she told deputies it was unlike Crystal to not contact her as they normally talked on a daily basis.
The Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office also told the news station that there weren't any cars at Crystal's home when they arrived and that no one answered the door when they knocked. An officer who walked around the home smelled an odor associated with decomposition coming from the back of the home and it prompted the deputies to break into the house. That was when they discovered Crystal's body. The authorities are still looking for the missing child and Crystal's vehicle. The victim's actual cause of death will be determined after an autopsy this week.
The OSCO has also encouraged anyone with relevant information about the missing child to contact them at 803-534-3550 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC.
Cover Photo Source: Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office / Facebook