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"We just want her back safe": Search continues for missing 5-year-old after mother found dead

Almost a month after she was last heard from, Orangeburg County deputies found the deceased mother of a 5-year-old. Family are members still looking for answers.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Orangeburg County deputies arrived at a house on Thanksgiving to find a dead woman, whose child is now missing.

According the incident report released by the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Department, deputies arrived at a home on Luise Drive, off of North Road, on Thanksgiving Day after a family member had asked officers to conduct a wellness check on at the residence after not hearing from a woman in weeks.

Deputies say when they arrived and searched the home, they came across a deceased woman. The sheriff's office confirms the woman found dead was the mother of 5-year-old Aspen Jeter, who was not at the home during the time of the welfare check. Investigators say they have not been able to locate the girl.

News19 spoke with Aspen's uncle, Pauley Jumper, who says he doesn't know what lead up to the death and is just focused on finding Aspen. "Just hoping from the public to get Aspen back home," Jumper said. "We just want her back safe."

Steph Ball-Mitchell is a friend of Aspen's mother. She says the two grew up together in Orangeburg before she moved to Pennsylvania. In the past years, she recalled getting photos and videos of Aspen from her mom.

"She's just such a beautiful child," Ball-Mitchell said. "It was really special to watch Aspen grow and change."

Ball-Mitchell says Aspen suffers from a disability that makes it hard for her to communicate and walk. She hopes someone has information that can help.

"She definitely needs medical care, so we want to get her picture out there," Ball-Mitchell said. "If anyone's seen her, we definitely want people to call and let us know where you've seen her."

If you have seen Aspen Jeter or have any information as to her whereabouts or the circumstances surrounding the death of her mother, deputies ask you to contact Crimestoppers anonymously in any of the following ways:

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