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6-Year-Old Escapes Abusive Parents Only to Be Allegedly Killed by Neighbor

by Sasha Brown-Worsham on November 27, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Jersey BridgemanSix-year-old Jersey Bridgeman never really had a chance in life. The little girl's body was found two days before Thanksgiving, and now a neighbor -- Zachary Dewayne Holly -- is charged with capital murder, kidnapping, and residential burglary in connection with her death. But that isn't the only time little Jersey has been in the news. 

Just last year, her father and stepmother were arrested for chaining the little girl to the dresser because she got into medication and other things around the house. Both David and Jana Bridgeman pleaded guilty and are now in jail. It was unclear who Jersey was living with and where her biological mom is. But one thing that is clear: This little girl never stood a chance.

Some cases just haunt you. This is one for me.

This little girl was born into a family where parenting was clearly not the priority and then she fell into the hands of some kind of predator. It's unclear what her life was like in the middle years, but the arrests of her father and stepmom give us some notion.

It's completely unfair that some are given so much while others are given so little and spend their whole lives suffering.

As the mom of a nearly 6-year-old girl, I can't help but see my child in Jersey. My child is beloved, well cared for, and nourished, taught all the fundamentals, and full of life and joy. Why should she -- or any other child in my social group -- get so much and this little girl get so little. It's just sickeningly unfair.

It's impossible to know what to do. We can change public policy and give parents stricter punishments. We can provide more foster opportunities and help kids have some semblance of normalcy. But we can't make people who shouldn't have kids stop having kids. We can't force parents to see that things like chaining a child to a desk are BAD if they are so deluded that they don't realize that anyway.

I imagine that being a social worker or anyone who works with at-risk children must be so disheartening. No child deserves a life like this and yet there is so little we can do.

So now I get to report this horrific story and talk about how sad it makes me. But I can't hold her or make her life better or do anything to help. No one can. That's the sad and awful truth and it's so, so staggeringly unfair.

Does this story break your heart, too?

 

Filed Under: child abuse, crime

Comments

43
  • dirti...
    --

    dirtiekittie

    November 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    it breaks my heart that she lived with so much in her very short life. at the same time, i personally believe she is in a better place where no one will hurt her ever again. rest in peace, little angel.


  • stara...
    --

    starandseen

    November 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM
    What breaks my heart is hearing parents abusing their young children by chaining them, beating them, forcing them to drink bleach, burning them, etc. Because children are helpless and you're the authority and therefore they CAN mistreat them.
  • Pinkmani
    --

    Pinkmani

    November 27, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    WOW! That's horrible! I don't understand why people have children/raise children when they know they weren't meant to be parents. There's nothing wrong with not wanting to be a parent. And Jersey is such a beautiful name! Rest in peace, darling!


  • Bridg...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Bridget Pittman

    November 27, 2012 at 2:26 PM
    Wow. I never realized until this article how skewed your version or your information is. This is from my local area. This little girl WAS in the custody of her biological mother. The abuse she endured last year at the hands of her father and step-mother was during a court ordered visitation. Parenting had NOTHING to do with this child's murder. She was kidnapped in the middle of the night and then murdered. What her father and step-mother did had nothing to do with the mother's parenting.
  • Dan...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Dan Peyton

    November 27, 2012 at 2:37 PM
    First of all, Bridget, you arr a moron to believe that these parenta were not to blame, part of being a parent is to protect your children, I would know if my six year old was being abused and I would lay down my life to protect her and take a life of a monster that tried to harm my child. I too think its unfair for the poor girl and would give anything to be left in a room alone in a room for 5 minutes with the people that failed her, and brought her such pain and misery.
  • D
    -- Nonmember comment from

    D

    November 27, 2012 at 2:53 PM
    Well, I think this is unfair. Yes. But, there are lots of times innocent parents end up losing their kids (if only for a few days) causing the children and the family unneeded stress and anguish.
  • KA
    -- Nonmember comment from

    KA

    November 27, 2012 at 3:18 PM
    First of all Dan, you're a moron for attacking Bridget. You "think" you would know if your child was abused. I was abused as a child & my parents NEVER knew - they still don't know. And you don't know the circumstances of the bio Mom's home. Maybe they went to bed, locked everything up, but he still got in the house - it happens. Maybe not all of the time, but it does happen. The VAST MAJORITY of parents would give their lives for their children, but unfortunately time & unforseen occurrences DO HAPPEN & sometimes we can't protect them. It's this thing called LIFE.
  • Lacey...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Lacey Tierney

    November 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    There is plenty this country do. Allow same-sex couples and single parents to adopt. That wouldn't fix the foster care system and how crowded it is but it damn sure would help. make it a little easier to adopt. Perhaps families would stop seeking adoption from out of the country.

    Would this fix abusive parents? No. You can't fix stupid. But maybe the state's would have better resources


  • Diane...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Diane Shane

    November 27, 2012 at 3:33 PM
    It just breaks my heart & makes me sick to my stomach at the monsters that would do this. When God is out your life...it leaves room for Satan. Lord please help those who continue to live without you, seek you and find you so they can defeat Satan. R.I.P. little Jersey...you are safe now in loving arms.
  • Diane...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Diane Shane

    November 27, 2012 at 3:35 PM
    It just breaks my heart & makes me sick to my stomach at the monsters that would do this. When God is out your life...it leaves room for Satan. Lord please help those who continue to live without you, seek you and find you so they can defeat Satan. R.I.P. little Jersey...you are safe now in loving arms.
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