BENNETTSVILLE, S.C.-- The FBI has now joined the search for a missing 8-year-old girl whose mother was found dead in their Marlboro County home on Friday.
Officers are trying to find 8-year-old Ayana Lowery.
The girl's mother, Ella Shantrica Lowery, was discovered by officers Friday morning. It has not been announced how the mother died, but the death is being investigated as a homicide.
The Marlboro County Sheriff’s Office responded to a death investigation at the girl’s home Friday morning.
Officers say they were able to locate the woman's young son alive, but they have not been able to locate Ayana.
According to Sheriff Charles Lemon, deputies need the community’s help finding the girl. She is described at 4 feet, 2 inches tall, weighing 100 pounds, with black hair in a ponytail and brown eyes.
Investigators say they can't issue an Amber Alert at this time, because they do not have information about a car that may be associated with her disappearance.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and other agencies will be involved in the death investigation and the missing child case, confirms Sheriff Lemon.
“We are exhausting all resources to find Iyana,” Lemon said. “If anyone knows her whereabouts or has information about her disappearance or the death investigation we are conducting at her residence, please call 911 or (843) 479-5605 and ask to speak to an investigator. Please be specific about this case so it can be routed immediately.”
Lemon added that the sheriff’s office and SLED are trying to gather all facts and information and if the circumstances arise that meet the AMBER alert requirements, one will be issued immediately.
No information regarding a cause of death of the woman found in the home has been released.