A search continues for a young girl who is missing from the home where her mother was found dead last week, according to the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office.
Aspen Jeter, 5, still had not been located as of Tuesday morning.
“We have a child who is unaccounted for at this time,” the sheriff’s office said. “This child is our priority at this point. The investigation is ongoing.”
Around noon on Thanksgiving Day, deputies were conducting a welfare check at a residence in the 200 block of Louise Drive when they found a deceased woman, according to the sheriff’s office.
On Nov. 24, the dead woman’s cousin called the sheriff’s office requesting the welfare check, saying she hadn’t heard from her relative since Nov. 7, according to an incident report.
The cousin said it was not normal for her to go so long without hearing from the woman as the two usually speak every day, according to the incident report.
When deputies responded to the woman’s Louise Drive home, there was no response to knocking on the door, but they could smell an “odor associated with decomposition,” and saw insects on the inside of the windows, according to the incident report.
After entering the home deputies found the woman’s body in a bed “in an advanced state of decomposition,” the incident report said.
“Investigating deputies learned the deceased female has a child named Aspen Jeter who was not located in the home,” the sheriff’s office said.
The 46-year-old woman had not been seen since Nov. 1, according to the sheriff’s office.
Social media posts have identified Crystal Jumper, an Orangeburg resident, as Aspen’s mother.
The cousin told deputies Aspen’s father had been staying at the woman’s home “due to his lights being cut off at his residence,” according to the incident report. The cousin also told deputies the woman and Aspen’s father “do not get along with each other,” the incident report said.
Aspen’s father has not been publicly identified and the sheriff’s office has not said he is involved in what it called murder/non-negligent manslaughter in the incident report.
“If you have any information in the whereabouts of this child, please let us know,” the sheriff said. “You don’t have to give your name, but just give us what you know.”
A friend of the woman said Aspen “suffers from a disability that makes it hard for her to communicate and walk,” and “needs medical care,” WLTX reported.
The sheriff’s office has urged anyone with any information on the child’s location or the dead woman to contact investigators at 803-534-3550, Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC or submit an online tip.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.