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Florence County deputies called in to help search for missing Bennettsville girl

Florence County deputies spent several hours searching John C. Lindsay Park on Highway 9 in Bennettsville for 8-year-old Iyana Lowery. (Tonya Brown/WPDE)

The Florence County Sheriff's Office has been called in to help search for 8-year-old Iyana Lowery, according to Marlboro County Sheriff Charles Lemon.

The child has been missing since last Friday when a relative found her mother, Ella Lowery, 36, dead at their home on Craig Circle in Bennettsville.

Dewayne Bright, 36, has been charged in Lowery's murder and he remains in jail.

Florence County deputies spent several hours searching John C. Lindsay Park on Highway 9 in Bennettsville. The park is less than one mile from the where the child went missing.

Officers used four-wheelers to trek across the park and search through hilly terrain.

Lowery's relatives said they're glad Sheriff Lemon saw fit to bring in additional officers.

"The ones that was already out there, I know they're tired. So, bring in some more to investigate and search," said Denise Lynch, Lowery's Cousin.

"You got fresh eyes, and that's one of the most important things, and you got more people. I want to praise them and thank them for the job they're doing," said Walter Brown, III, Lowery's Uncle.

Marlboro County deputies went back to the home on Craig Circle in Bennettsville, but didn't say why they were back at the house on Wednesday.

Related: FBI reviews surveillance video in search for missing Marlboro County girl

The child's uncle, Walter Brown, III, said he's hoping deputies will find his little niece, but he's growing more concerned as each day passes.

"I'm kind of fading with hope because it's been a while. And, it's kind of hard to face reality, right...but, in my heart, I feel that she's no longer with us," said Brown.

Related: "She's a very sweet intelligent little girl," family member says of missing eight-year-old

He said it's a very difficult time for their family.

"It's hard everyday trying to deal with this, you know, and waiting and waiting to see, you know? I mean, like, we all go through things, you know. But, as for being a part of the family, it's so hard. It's a hard thing to deal with. The hurt is still--you find yourself lost for words," said Brown.

Garnett Goins is trying to do her part to the Lowery family. She's made #MarlboroStrong decals and is selling them for $5.

Goins said all of the proceeds go to the Lowery family.

She said, even though she doesn't know the family, she feels compelled to do something to help the child.

"Praying for her everyday, all day, that they'll be home and she'll be safe. I love children and it's just, I don't know--just ready for her to come home safe," said Goins.

Faculty and staff at Bennettsville Primary School where Lowery attends school and the entire faculty of Marlboro County School District are wearing rainbow ribbons made by one of the faculty members in honor of Iyana Lowery, according to the district's public information officer, Dr. Henry Cobb.

Cobb said they will be wearing them daily as they pray for her immediate and safe return.

If you have any information about the incident, you're asked to call the Marlboro County Sheriff's Office at 843-479-5605 or 843-479-5606.

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