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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Jersey Bridgeman endured a lot in her young life, including abuse at the hands of her father and stepmother, but school officials say she was still a happy little girl.

Now, authorities are trying to figure out who killed 6-year-old Jersey after the kindergartner's body was found in a vacant house this week in the northwest Arkansas city of Bentonville.

Jersey's father and stepmother are in prison for chaining her to a dresser last year.

Mary Ley, communications director for Bentonville schools, says Jersey had been through a lot but was still a joyful child.

Police have said they're investigating Jersey's death as a homicide, but they won't say how she died. They haven't arrested anyone in connection with her death.

Bentonville is about 215 miles northwest of Little Rock.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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