ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell say the mother of a missing 5-year-old child was shot to death and officers say they now want to find the little girl's father as they continue to search for her.
This is all part of the investigating into the disappearance of 5-year-old Aspen Jeter. Ravenll spoke briefly about the case at a late Wednesday afternoon press conference.
"We want to get this child back safely," Ravenell said.
Ravenell said the autopsy results on the child's 45-year-old mother confirm the mother died of a gunshot wound in the upper body. The woman, who has not been formally identified by the coroner's office, had been reported missing and her body was found in a home on Louise Drive in Orangeburg.
The sheriff was asked when the mother died, and while he said the autopsy didn't reveal that, he said she may have been dead for several weeks.
Initially, Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office (OCSO) deputies were called to the residence on Louise Drive to conduct a welfare check on the woman. Deputies found her body inside the home and discovered her 5-year-old daughter, Aspen Jeter, was missing from the home.
The child's father, Antar Antonio Jeter, is also missing from the area and may be operating a blue 2015 Mazda 6 taken from the victim's residence, according to the sheriff.
Ravenell said the father has primary custody of Aspen Jeter.
Ravenell said on Sunday, law enforcement on Sunday received a hit on a surveillance camera at a department store parking lot in the Fayetteville, NC area, where a male was seen with a child who matched the description of Aspen. A second sighting was made in the same area on Monday by citizens concerned about a small child they had spotted with a man in a vehicle.
Antar Jeter is described as standing about 5 foot seven inches tall and weighing around 190 pounds. Officers have not called him a suspect.
“We’ve been looking for him in connection with the larceny of a vehicle, but we also want to talk to him as he may have information in the case,” Sheriff Ravenell said. “We’d like to see if he knows anything.”
The sheriff added that anyone who sees Jeter or Aspen is asked not approach them.
Anyone with information on Jeter’s location is urged to call the OCSO at 803-534-3550 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME_SC.