Several funds claiming to be raising money for Jersey Bridgeman have sprung up, leading to infighting within Jersey’s family.
The six-year-old Bentonville girl was found dead Tuesday morning in an abandoned house two doors down from her home. The Bentonville Police Department opened a murder investigation, but has not released the names of any suspects or persons of interest.
One fundraising effort on the Give Forward website states it was created by Jason Bridgeman, an uncle on Jersey’s father’s side of the family.
“I’m starting this to help my brother pay for the funeral, and a headstone,” the site states.
The site does not specify what “brother” is being referenced. Jersey’s father, David Bridgeman, is serving prison time for chaining the girl to a dresser last year.
The site has raised $120 of its stated $5,000 goal.
The Give Forward page for Jersey “is fraudulent,” said Jennifer Rollins, Jersey’s aunt. Family members said they do not believe the money would go toward Jersey’s burial. Rollins said David Bridgeman has lost his parental rights, distancing his side of the family from Jersey.
Rollins said the family set up a legitimate fundraising page Thursday morning on GoFundMe, titled “Jersey Dianne”. The stated goal is $8,000.
Tiffany Bridgeman, another one of Jersey’s aunts, fired back that Jason Bridgeman’s Give Forward page is legitimate.
“He has every intention of giving every single penny of whatever we raise to Jersey’s family,” Tiffany Bridgeman told 5NEWS in an email. “This is not the time for our families to argue and fight. We need to come together and mourn the loss of this beautiful baby girl who was taken away from everyone.”
A commenter on a 5NEWSonline story claimed yet another fundraising effort has popped up for Jersey’s family. The commenter said the Jersey Dianne Bridgeman Memorial Fund has been set up with Arvest Bank. Calls and messages to the bank franchise went unreturned Thursday because of the Thanksgiving holiday.